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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
7:08 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Power poles in the sky?

APS working on rebuilding transmission line

Arizona Public Service (APS) helicopters a power pole above Prescott Valley Sunday, Oct. 21. (Richard Haddad/WNI)

Arizona Public Service (APS) helicopters a power pole above Prescott Valley Sunday, Oct. 21. (Richard Haddad/WNI)

Residents throughout the greater Prescott area may have recently noticed power poles being flown by helicopters past and over their neighborhoods.

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A helicopter places a power pole for an Arizona Public Service (APS) transmission line being rebuilt between Dewey and Bald Mountain. (Arizona Public Service/Courtesy)

Annie DeGraw, spokesperson for Arizona Public Service (APS), said this was part of a rebuilding and modernizing effort the utility is working on for a transmission line that runs from Dewey to Bald Mountain (a substation near Stoneridge in Prescott Valley).

“We needed to fly the poles in because not only are they extremely heavy, but the terrain we were flying them into was not hospitable to bringing them in by truck,” DeGraw said. “It’s not an uncommon practice for us, particularly in rural areas or hard-to-reach areas, to fly things in by helicopter.”

This is only a small part of a larger grid update that the utility company is doing, DeGraw said.

The last day of flight operations took place Monday, Oct. 22, she said. Work on the line itself will most likely continue through January.

“A lot of what these projects generally are is setting up what we call the lay down yards,” DeGraw said. “That’s when we’re getting all of the poles ready to be lifted up, making sure that all of the new holes are dug, and then the actual flying.”

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein, email him at mefrein@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105.