WAYNESBORO, Virginia – The L.E. Myers Co. (L.E. Myers) a subsidiary of MYR Group inc. (MYR Group), demonstrated its commitment to clients by rapidly training and deploying a special team of line workers to help energize a transmission line in Virginia.
It was already a week into December when Dominion requested the company’s help to inspect and ensure that all conductor suspension clamp connections along the newly rebuilt 39-mile Lexington-Dooms line, which runs through the Shenandoah Valley, were properly tightened prior to energizing the line.
The 500kV/230kV underbuild configuration meant there were six conductor connections to examine per structure, which ranged from 150 to 170 feet tall.
To expedite matters, a helicopter company was brought in to provide the needed ‘lift.’ Locating qualified line workers to deploy onto the conductors from a long line… on short notice… right before the holidays… was the tough part.
But the L.E. Myers team based in Rural Hall, NC didn’t hesitate when they received the request.
“Since our partnership began, we’ve always managed to meet Dominion’s deadlines and get their jobs done correctly and safely,” said Operations Manager Andrew Tolley.
“We have never said ‘no’ to Dominion on special work they want us to do and we would like to keep it that way,” added District Manager Jeff Webber.
With the clock ticking, qualified line workers in the region were selected to undergo long line training.
“You need to be fairly flexible because getting on and off the wire safely from the long line and getting into the insulators and shoes…not everybody can do that,” remarked Tolley.
Line workers are a pretty fearless bunch to begin with but this job required folks who were really comfortable, confident and capable of working at heights.
“While you’re walking on the conductors, you must be steady, stable and sure-footed. That wire is really shaky up there so you always have to be on your toes,” said Journeyman Lineman Daniel Maultsby. “The specialized training we received from the helicopter company and MYR Group’s safety team was essential.”
Within a week, all the hardware was tightened down. The Lexington-Dooms line was ready for energization.
“It was a real time sensitive exercise,” said Group Vice President Scott Lamont. “It took a lot of coordination at the local level as well as corporate support to pull this thing off. The help we received from MYR’s safety department was huge. It’s a great example of teamwork and our commitment to clients.”
Donnie Cook, MYR Group regional safety manager for the southeast region concurs. “It was very satisfying to see just how well this project came together. The deadline on the 23rd left a very small window for preparation but our people ensured a solid safety and work plan was in place before the first employee was in the air and on the line. The helicopter crew, line crew and our safety team executed the plans very professionally.”