41-Mile 230kV/138kV Transmission Line Rebuild — New Jersey

November 2017–May 2019

Riggs Distler was selected as the general contractor on this important transmission line rebuild. When complete, the project will deliver a more capable and reliable electric grid for the citizens of southern New Jersey. Our work on this project involves:

  • Reinforcing 41 miles of 230kv/138kv electrical transmission lines
  • Replacing 243 lattice towers with steel monopoles installed on foundations or vibratory caissons
  • Installing six new 1590 ACSR conductors and two new OPGW lines
  • Managing environmental and archaeological compliance
  • Installing, maintaining and removing erosion and sediment controls
  • Managing civil contractors installing 243 foundations
  • 70–90 workers on-site every day

Challenges Overcome

The project presented a number of unique challenges, including an accelerated project schedule, tight outage windows for construction, and complex environmental concerns. The project area spans the marshes and bogs of the New Jersey pinelands, and Riggs Distler’s environmental matting team is heavily involved, installing extensive matting to create safe conditions for construction and protect the local environment and handling E&S. In areas where matting is not possible, Riggs Distler has contracted with an aviation consultant to help set poles and equipment using helicopters.

Coordination with multiple environmental and archaeological regulatory agencies is also required due to the presence of protected species and undisclosed archaeological sites. Our team is working with monitors from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, who are on-site daily, to preserve the integrity of local habitats and avoid construction during the mating seasons of sensitive species. Careful scheduling and execution is also a top priority for our Project Managers, as all project phases must be completed within eight specific outage windows to ensure uninterrupted service to end users.

Results Delivered

Despite the tough terrain and complicated schedule requirements, Riggs Distler has successfully completed Phases 1 through 6 while managing compliance issues and ensuring the safety and efficiency of our staff in the field. Our team loves a good challenge, and this project was an excellent demonstration of Riggs Distler’s expertise handling large projects with multiple components. When the project comes to completion in June 2019, the new equipment will better sustain weather damage and last over a half-century, and the upgraded line will deliver increased power to residents and businesses throughout southern New Jersey.