SPEARFISH — Black Hills Energy plans to replace about 10 miles of power transmission lines in the Northern Black Hills in two projects this summer.

One project, in the Tinton corridor, would replace 4.9 miles of transmission lines. The project is located about 1.5 miles north of Savoy and runs from Spearfish Canyon, west across Tinton Road and continues west beyond Iron Creek Lake.

The Maitland project is located approximately 4 miles south of Spearfish and runs north to south along Maitland Road. The section to be rebuilt is approximately 4.3 miles long

Ken Meirose, operations manager for Black Hills Energy, said the projects are anticipated to start this spring, weather depending, as well as permitting and bids.

Meirose said the project would replace poles and transmission lines along the entire route.

He said the Tinton project was budget to cost around $500,000, but he added the project would likely cost less.

Although poles have been replaced as needed, the lines, erected in 1943, are original.

“It will be a better material. It will be aluminum over steel instead of copper,” Meirose said. 

Additionally, the transmission lines will have a larger carrying capacity.

He said some power outages will be necessary, but he hopes most of the construction will be conducted while the lines have electricity flowing through them.

The project is slated to last all summer.

More detailed information on the Maitland project was not immediately available.

Replacement of poles is necessary to maintain longevity of the lines, and an upgrade in line voltage is necessary to meet the demands of the communities.

Tree removal and ground disturbance would occur within the existing utility corridors. Heavy equipment would be used to remove existing poles and install new ones.

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