WATERVILLE — Central Maine Power Co. hopes to start clearing land in February or March to build a second 115-kilovolt transmission line across Messalonskee Stream from Quarry Road to County Road, since the Planning Board earlier this week voted 6-0 to approve the project.

Construction will take place intermittently over several months, according to Mark Christopher, project manager for TRC Solutions, an Augusta engineering firm working on the effort.

“We’re thinking that the line will be built in November,” Christopher told the board Monday.

He said if all goes well, the entire line will be up and functioning at the end of the year or early in 2020.

Christopher said he does not think the project will be particularly disruptive to neighbors.

The portion of transmission line in Waterville, about six-10ths of a mile, is part of a line that extends 7 miles from Benton to a new substation in Oakland.

The corridor has one 150-foot-wide, 115-kilovolt line that was built in the 1970s, and having two transmission lines serving the area will allow for increased capacity, according to Christopher. A letter from Christopher to Waterville’s code enforcement officer, Dan Bradstreet, dated Oct. 24, says CMP was in the process of buying an additional 30 feet on the east side to expand the corridor to a width of 180 feet.

If the existing line is out of service, the new line would be in place to handle the transmission load, Christopher told the Planning Board on Monday.

“The goal is to help improve the transmission service to Waterville and the outlying towns,” he said.

The towns of Fairfield, Oakland and Benton have already approved the project, he said.

He said there would not be a lot of cutting on the Waterville side.

The first step would be earthwork, cutting, setting up temporary access for the crew, coming in with equipment to dig for poles, erecting the poles and running the conductors and wires, according to Christopher.

As crews finish up areas of disturbed soil, it will be regraded, seeded and mulched, he said.

“The work is clean. It’s safe,” he said.

If neighbors have problems, there will be a construction manager on site to consult, he said.

Peter Garrett, representing Kennebec Messalonskee Trails, said CMP has been helpful to the trails organization, which has trails along part of CMP’s power lines in Waterville, Winslow, Benton, Fairfield and Oakland.

According to CMP’s application for a shoreland zoning permit from the city to do the work, the estimated cost of construction is $500,000-plus.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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