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AEP Project Gets a Lift From Helicopter Firm

Photo Courtesy of AEP Old transmission line tower equipment was removed from the hillsides above WV 2 near the Ohio County/Marshall County border with the assistance of a helicopter in recent weeks.

WHEELING — Those travelling along WV 2 recently might have been craning their necks to catch a glimpse of a helicopter hovering around the Ohio County-Marshall County border. That copter was helping out an American Electric Power high-voltage transmission line project that wrapped up this past weekend.

AEP External Affairs Manager Joelle Moray said AEP Transmission has been in the process of replacing high voltage transmission lines and the line towers in a hilly wooded area between WV 2 near South Wheeling and the Mozart area over the past several months.

She said AEP Transmission is responsible for the maintenance of the high-voltage/high-wire lines and transmission line towers for the company. These are the power lines that connect the power plant to area substations and not the smaller lines that directly connect to homes and businesses, according to Moray.

While the infrastructure in that area was already upgraded and completed in that area over the past few months, a helicopter crew with private contractor, Aerial Solutions, assisted with the removal of old infrastructure equipment in that area in more recent weeks, Moray said.

That helicopter assistance was very weather dependent. Wind and rain kept it grounded from helping on the project.

“The helicopter work is actually removing all of the old infrastructure because it happens to be in (wooded) locations that are just not really accessible any other way,” Morey explained.

She said the project, which is similar to another project AEP Transmission performed in the Moundsville area approximately two years ago, is now nearly complete.

Moray said the project is all part of keeping the high voltage transmission lines and infrastructure updated in this area.

“Overall, this improves reliability for everyone,” Moray added.

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