Entiat Valley transmission line work will mean forest road closures; brief delays on Highway 97A
Helicopter work on Tuesday, June 19, to place steel poles that will carry a new high-voltage line being built to serve the Entiat Valley will require closing U.S. Forest Service roads in Crum Canyon and the Steliko area and brief delays for motorists on Entiat River Road and on Highway 97A just north of Entiat.
The contractor building the line for Chelan County PUD has a hired heavy-lift helicopter to fly 10 of the steel structures into remote locations over the 5.8-mile route of the new line. Other locations can be reached from Forest Service roads and poles can be delivered by truck. The helicopter work will start near the intersection of the Entiat River and Crum Canyon roads and move east over the ridge toward the Columbia River.
For safety and to reduce congestion on the narrow backcountry roads, FS 5303 Crum Canyon Road will be closed at the Forest Service boundary, which will include the 210 spur and FS Road 5302. There will be signs and flaggers controlling traffic on Entiat River Road and flaggers assisted by the State Patrol on Highway 97A, said George Velazquez, PUD project manager.
The new transmission line is part of a three-pronged approach to improving electrical service in Entiat and up the valley. Contractor Potelco Inc. of Sumner, Wash., is building the transmission line and a new PUD switchyard just north of Entiat along Highway 97A near Ribbon Cliff. The switchyard will send power onto the transmission line. The 115-kilovolt line will carry electricity to a new substation under construction by Aztech Electric of Spokane Valley, Wash., in the Entiat Valley near the mouth of Crum Canyon.
In addition to adding capacity to meet growth, the project will also provide an alternate route for power that will help PUD crews restore service sooner when there are outages. Chelan PUD has about 940 customers in the city of Entiat and up the Entiat Valley.
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