I&M installing new ‘BOLD’ transmission towers along I-69

Courtesy photo

Something BOLD is rising from the farmland near a section of Interstate 69 between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis: new Indiana Michigan Power transmission towers.

The traditional four-legged lattice towers are being replaced with new BOLD towers, for Breakthrough Overhead Line Design that use a single pole with a crescent-shaped arc at the top. According to I&M, the lower profile is more attractive and maximizes system performance while minimizing environmental impacts and overall costs. The BOLD towers also require less ground space and fewer pieces of equipment while reducing or eliminating nesting by birds.

AEP engineers developed the BOLD design, which has won several awards, including an International Tower Design Award. The line now under construction runs parallel to Interstate 69 for about three miles, roughly from the Van Buren area north of Indiana 18 to the Indiana 5/Indiana 218 exit. The towers are part of I&M’s Roanoke-to-Marion project, which involves rebuilding an aging 138-kiloVolt transmission line from a substation near Roanoke to the Deer Creek substation in Marion, located adjacent to I&M’s first solar generation plant. In all, more than 200 BOLD towers are included in the project, including more than 20 near I-69 between the Van Buren area and the Indiana 5/Indiana 218 exit west of Warren.

The new line with the BOLD towers is replacing a line that dates back decades.