Largest Portion of Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP) Successfully Completed by L.E. Myers

June 25, 2015


MYR Group subsidiary The L.E. Myers Co. (L.E. Myers) has successfully completed its portion of Central Maine Power Co.’s Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP), the largest infrastructure project in Maine’s history.

Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, will have invested $1.4 billion in the MPRP upon completion of the project, which will modernize the state’s 40-year-old bulk power system. The MPRP will also improve electrical reliability over the coming decades and provide the infrastructure for Maine’s emerging wind, hydro, biomass, and tidal energy industries.

MPRP 3B

An early achievement of the MPRP was the 1700 ft long Prospect Ferry to Bucksport river crossing in September, 2011.

L.E. Myers was awarded the largest portion of the MPRP project, the Northern Loop, which included the construction and rebuild of more than 2,000 structures and 210 miles of 345kV and 115kV transmission lines throughout northeastern Maine.

“The massive undertaking began in the fall of 2010 and required meticulous planning and extensive coordination,” said Project Manager Scott Tibbetts.

“The MPRP project was one of the most complex and challenging in L.E. Myers’ history,” Tibbetts said. “Working through some very harsh winters and treading carefully in Maine’s sensitive ecosystems, we had 18 jobs to complete, all of which required some concurrent work at any given time.”

MPRP 2D

Pole setting crews set more than 2000 structures over the course of the project.

The project presented extremely challenging environmental concerns, including a steep slope between a gas pipeline and remote stream channels, saturated wetland pockets and fragile wildlife habitats. L.E. Myers hired a full-time environmental coordinator to oversee compliance with more than 5,000 pages of environmental permits. Strict environmental monitoring was conducted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Army Corps of Engineers and third-party inspectors, and numerous restrictions dictated what seasons and times work could be performed.

“Protecting water resources and minimizing land and wildlife impact were of primary concern, particularly the prevention of muddy or contaminated water from entering wetlands, streams, ponds and rivers,” Tibbetts said. “We took detailed control measures to safeguard these natural resources.”

An impressive demonstration of that teamwork took place during the summer of 2012, when L.E. Myers crews safely completed a wire pull that spanned 2,419 feet over the Penobscot River, a delicate and risky operation that involved a helicopter, two cranes and two pairs of 380’ tall lattice towers on opposite banks of the river.

In October, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy came roaring up the Eastern Seaboard, knocking out power to 150,000 homes and businesses in Maine and more than eight million other customers throughout the Northeast, crews had to stop work on the MPRP and begin the daunting task of restoration.

MPRP 8

The L.E. Myers – MPRP safety committee contributed a great amount to the project’s outstanding safety record.

A year later, in October, 2013, the L.E. Myers team hit a remarkable milestone — one million man-hours on the MPRP without a single lost-time incident.

“Do it right, don’t take shortcuts, and look out for your brother – that’s what it’s all about,” said Northeast Regional Safety Manager Jim Foley. “It was accepted at all levels that if everybody worked safe, everything else would come together.”

“We exceeded our goals and thresholds for safety,” added Tibbetts. “Central Maine Power held us to very high expectations and we surpassed them.”

“Not only did the foremen set standards and encourage good work-safety habits, but each employee dedicated themselves to a safe work environment,” said MYR Group Sr. Vice President Bill Green. “The credit goes to every person who set foot on this project.”

MPRP Project Detail

MPRP 6

With over 210 miles of 345 kV and 115kV conductor to install, the L.E. Myers wire pulling crew
was kept extremely busy.

MPRP 4

Members of the L.E. Myers’ transportation crew unload a 125 ft wooden pole that was sunk into the marshy banks of the Swampscott River in Somerville, Maine.

MPRP 5

MYR Group Regional Safety Manager Jim Foley (L) and Senior Vice President William Green (R)
watch as a helicopter pulls lead line between Winterport and N. Bucksport, Maine.

MPRP 1

Line workers got an unobstructed view of the Penobscot River as they assembled sections of four 380 ft lattice towers erected along the banks.

MPRP 7A

Members of the helicopter crew catch off the straw line at a steel pole next to the Detroit substation.