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CL&P's High-Wire Installing Act with Choppers, 'Thunder'

If you’re driving along I-84 in Middlebury-Waterbury this weekend, you could see traffic delays and an unusual sight.

Source: CL&P YouTube video
Source: CL&P YouTube video
By Jaimie Cura

CL&P will be re-stringing electrical wires along I-84 east and west in Middlebury and part of Waterbury on Feb. 8 and 9, using a helicopter and workers, according to Middlebury Police Chief Richard Wildman.

“The helicopters will be low-flying and usually have men dangling from them,” Wildman said via email. “The second part will be implosion splicing of the wires, which will done Feb. 10 through Feb. 15 and again in April. This sounds like an explosion or clap of thunder.”

(The attached video shows the explosive devices used to splice the wires during a project in Norwalk.)

The helicopter will fly in an east-west direction in the Tower Road area across I-84 and into Waterbury, he said. A rolling traffic stop will occur as the wire is pulled along the highway, according to a memo written by Northeast Utilities Service Company and provided by Wildman.

Why a Helicopter?

“Using a helicopter decreases the amount of time required for the task and allows us to bridge sensitive areas like wetlands and road crossings,” according to the Northeast Utilities Service Company’s memo.

Six implosions are scheduled for February and three between April 14 and 19, as part of The 1990 Line Rebuild Project, Northeast Utilities stated.

Implosion Location

“The proposed location for the implosions is 146 Tower Road — back off the road in the right-of-way,” according to Northeast Utilities. “The use of this process creates a loud sound that is similar to a loud clap of thunder.”

The task is weather-permitting. Middlebury and state police, as well as the state Department of Transportation, will be present at the time of operations to ensure public safety, Wildman said.

Visit this link for more information on the 1990 Line Rebuild Project.

Editor's note: This article previously was published by Woodbury-Middlebury Patch.




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