Above: Rhode Island Energy has been preparing the right of way next to Avenger Drive for construction of new electricity transmission line towers.
Ground has been prepared – next step, drilling
Rhode Island Energy is in the midst of upgrading the electric power line infrastructure that runs from North Kingstown to along the Hunt River, across Frenchtown Road, along Avenger Drive, across Middle Road and west of Cindyann Drive to Division Street, with the initial “staging” steps mostly complete and the next phase – drilling for foundations – to begin in September.
The work is being paid for by Revolution Wind, which is building an offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The power generated by the project will come ashore at Quonset and will require wires that can carry additional electricity and the new wires need new towers. The older towers will stay in place until the project is complete and then they will be disassembled.
While most of the work will be done on the right-of-way corridor that already exists for the power line, there will be trucks in and out of the area and there is one spot where the power line crosses over Avenger Drive.
Because of its close proximity to the high school, EGHS Principal Pat Page invited RI Energy to speak about the project at a student and parent orientation session Monday night and the team had a fact sheet available (Transmission Lines Upgrade Project FAQs).
The project began in late spring, with the ground being cleared of overgrown vegetation in some areas and with timber “matting” and/or gravel placed for the heavy equipment needed to drill holes for the new tower foundations and for construction of the towers themselves.
There will be no blasting for this project, said project spokesman Mike Masseur. He said the drilling will cause “fairly significant levels of noise” and will last about two days per structure, describing it as a steading grinding-of-rock type of sound. Masseur said vibrations from the drilling should be “mild” and that he didn’t think many property owners would “feel anything significant.”
He said they had been working closely with Principal Page and other school and town officials “to make sure we do everything we can to ensure people’s safety.”
The construction area that abuts school property has been fenced off and there will be signs on Middle Road and Avenger Drive alerting drivers to the work.
“Workers will take extra precautions whenever we need to cross the roads,” Masseur said. The new towers should be completed by the end of 2023, with the new wires installed in 2024. You can read more about the project HERE and you can reach them at [email protected].
Revolution Wind is expected to come online in 2025 and provide 400 MW of wind power to Rhode Island. Read more about it HERE.