L.E. Myers Completes ITC Great Plains’ Kansas V-Plan Project

May 29, 2015

L.E. Myers V-Plan

A hydraulic crane is used to set a 30-ton steel pole. (Brian Beasley photos)

The L.E. Myers Co. (L.E. Myers) a subsidiary of MYR Group, was hired by ITC Great Plains, LLC, a transmission-only utility operating in the Southwest Power Pool region, to serve as prime contractor on four segments of ITC’s V-Plan high-voltage electric transmission line designed to connect eastern and western Kansas.

ITC’s December, 2014, energization of the 122-mile, double-circuit 345,000-volt (345kV) line marked the end of two years of outstanding performance by L.E. Myers crews, who finished the project on schedule while upholding their own and ITC’s exceptional safety standards.

“ITC possesses an extraordinarily talented project team of engineers, contract managers, field personnel, project managers and support staff,” said Larry Schweitzer, L.E. Myers Vice President T&D Central.

“The V-Plan project was organized better than any job I’ve ever been associated with,” added L.E. Myers Construction Manager Alex Phillips. “We arrived to the construction site and everything was ready to go, including right-of-way, permitting and procurement of materials.”

L.E. Myers’ scope of activity included erecting 145’ to 195’ structures, stringing 122 miles of transmission conductor from Medicine Lodge, Kansas, to Spearville, Kansas, building the Clark substation and constructing an addition to the Spearville substation.

L.E. Myers V-Plan

Line workers finish clipping conductor before day’s end on Dec 1, 2014.

“The Kansas weather was the most challenging aspect of the job,” said Schweitzer. “Throughout the course of the project, we experienced significant snow, extreme wind, and heavy rainfall.

“The wind was relentless,” added Phillips. “If the winds were 20 mph, it was a calm day. Due to record rainfall, we were unable to work 18 days during the month of June.”

Despite the extreme weather conditions, said Schweitzer, L.E. Myers “worked to ensure that we met ITC’s expectations for on-time completion.”

Brett Leopold, president of ITC Great Plains, said the completion of the V-Plan project demonstrates ITC’s ongoing commitment to modernize and expand critical energy infrastructure in Kansas and throughout the region.

“Customers benefit from an efficient, reliable grid that provides access to a variety of energy resources,” Leopold said.

The V-Plan was L.E. Myers’ second high-voltage electric transmission project for ITC. In 2012 L.E. Myers completed 174 miles of the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority (KETA) line from Spearville, Kansas, to Axtell, Nebraska. Driven by ITC and L.E. Myers’ unwavering commitment to safety, the exceptional safety performance on both Kansas projects was the joint result of steadfast management support, employee empowerment, innovative safety and training programs, and the use of state-of-the-art tools and equipment.

“During our four years of combined work on both the KETA and the V-Plan projects, we had no serious injuries and zero incidents on the V-Plan substation projects,” noted Schweitzer. “ITC and L.E. Myers worked effectively as partners to ensure the safety of all involved in the project and we’re extremely proud of our performance.”

In addition to the successful completion of ITC’s KETA and V-Plan projects, MYR Transmission and ITC also have an alliance agreement in Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas. L.E. Myers executes the agreement and has multiple crews working on ITC’s system at any given time performing construction and rebuilds, constructing substations and additions, as well providing routine maintenance and NERC compliance work.

Click here to view additional project details.

L.E. Myers V-Plan

Crews work inside the Spearville substation on Nov 15, 2014.

L.E. Myers V-Plan

Strong, steady winds blowing across the plains created challenging working conditions, especially for helicopter pilots.

L.E. Myers V-Plan

A line worker for L.E. Myers uses his climbing gear to help disassemble a temporary guard structure used during the wire pull.