Transmission Line Refurbishment Project Phase I — Massachusetts

Sept 2019–June 2020

Riggs Distler was contracted by a major power provider to provide environmental matting services in support of a 315 & 303/327/3520kV transmission line refurbishment in New England. The client sought to upgrade the transmission line with new steel towers and install new optical ground wire (OPGW) throughout the project corridor. Our work included:

  • Installation of 10,000 Swamp Mats for Access and Work Pad locations within Identified wetland locations
  • Installation of 20,000 linear feet of 12-inch biodegradable filter sock to protect wetlands from silt and soil runoff.  
  • 25,000 cubic yards of gravel and stone was utilized throughout the project corridor to build and improve network access   

The project covered a massive area, and Riggs Distler’s crews built 14 miles of access road network throughout the project area to support construction and future maintenance.

Challenges Overcome

In order to lay the matting necessary for the electrical crews to perform their work, and to protect the surrounding environment, Riggs Distler’s environmental matting team had to contend with the deep wetlands, swamps, and ponds that dotted the project area. To install the matting necessary over wetlands and water, our crews first built floating pad structures, then added layers of matting over them until the structure remained above the water line. Then, the crews finished off the pad locations by using forwarder machines to install stable 12-inch timber decking.

Since Riggs Distler could not flip matting off one structure onto the next structures as each was completed, the project required an enormous amount of matting. To meet the need, we increased our matting stockpile and ultimately provided over 10,000 mats for the project.

Flexibility was key to our ability to complete the project. Our crews dealt with material shortages, permitting issues, and resulting work delays in numerous locations. Riggs Distler stayed in constant contact with the client to ensure that all key accesses and work pads were prioritized.

Results Delivered

Riggs Distler’s matting work provided a stable foundation for the project to proceed, enabling our client to deliver safer, more reliable electrical service to end users throughout Massachusetts. Our crews also developed over 14 miles of new access road for the project, which will allow the client to more easily access the transmission line corridor for future work and repairs.