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Where are those towers going?

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Hydro towers in the North Kildonan area are being removed and replaced as part of the Pointe du Bois Spillway replacement project.

PHOTO BY RICK SPARLING Enlarge Image

Hydro towers in the North Kildonan area are being removed and replaced as part of the Pointe du Bois Spillway replacement project. Photo Store

You have likely noticed the presence of Manitoba Hydro and their contractors, who have been busy removing the towers holding the transmission lines running all the way from Pointe du Bois, Man., to Winnipeg.

This is a huge undertaking. The lines run all the way to the foot of the Disraeli Bridge in the North Point Douglas area on Rover Avenue.

In total there are approximately 695 towers to be removed, each weighing between 1,500 and 4,000 pounds, depending on whether they are the smaller towers or the four-legged towers. There are miles and miles of wires to be removed along with the footings. The footings are concrete, measuring three feet wide by three feet long by seven feet deep. The removal of the footings alone is a massive job.

The towers will be replaced by more modern versions and in some cases, for economic purposes, may be constructed of wood. The towers were originally erected shortly after the Pointe du Bois power terminal went online, circa 1911, so they are well over a century old. Even though these power lines are practically in our back yards, they do not feed any power to residents of North Kildonan nor Elmwood but mostly to the downtown area.

The removal project is expected to be completed prior to the end of October, however, things are a bit ahead of schedule. Construction of the new towers will begin shortly afterwards and will run from the Ridgeway station, which is on Wenzel Street in East St. Paul, to the Rover Avenue station in Point Douglas.  

The homes in Pointe du Bois were originally built for City Electric’s employees, who rented them throughout the years. Winnipeg Hydro took over and in 2002 sold out to Manitoba Hydro.

Back in 1911, the employees needed housing on site because there were no roads to Pointe du Bois. These houses are scheduled for razing between now and 2015, which has created some controversy for employees who had planned on retiring there. For a complete story on this topic, see the Winnipeg Free Press article entitled "Without a trace," by Bill Redekop. http://bit.ly/GD7Z10

In the meantime, the 170 kilometres of transmission lines (Winnipeg to Pointe du Bois) will be removed and the Pointe du Bois generating station, because of concrete deterioration and safety concerns, will be replaced. The Pointe du Bois Spillway replacement project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.

Rick Sparling is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. Email him at ricksparling@shaw.ca

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