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American Transmission Co. will begin soil boring testing the week of May 13 in preparation for the planned replacement of ATC’s 138,000-volt submarine electric cables crossing the Straits of Mackinac that were damaged last year when an anchor struck them.
The soil borings will begin along the Upper and Lower Michigan shorelines, near the McGulpin and Point La Barbe Riser Stations, and will continue along the lakebed of the Straits through June. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in mid-March issued a permit authorizing the work.
“Our goal is to fully assess the soil where we anticipate the new cables will be located, while minimizing shoreline and lakebed disturbance,” said ATC Project Manager Dustin Johanek.
Following the soil boring work, ATC will apply for additional regulatory and environmental permits from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Michigan’s EGLE by the end of 2019.
Beginning in the second quarter of 2021, ATC plans to remove the existing submarine cables and replace them with cables containing solid dielectric insulation to re-establish the two, approximately 4-mile, 138-kv circuits in the Straits. The in-service date is anticipated to be December 2021.
ATC continues to work with tribal nations, regulators and nearby landowners to gather input on the cable replacement project.