Published: Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Residents of the southeast may notice unusual traffic moving through the municipalities of La Broquerie and Stuartburn over the next few weeks as a result of the Manitoba to Minnesota Transmission Project.

This project is being orchestrated by Manitoba Hydro with the hopes of strengthening the reliability of the province’s electricity supply and increasing their access to markets across the border.

Manitoba Hydro Spokesperson Bruce Owen says they have hired another company to conduct a pre-construction geotechnical survey. “This involves taking soil samples from the areas of the proposed tower locations to determine where the towers should eventually be built,” he explains.

While the majority of land being surveyed will be largely out of the public eye, Owen notes that people traveling along the proposed Right-Of-Way may encounter pick-up trucks, track mounted drill rigs, and helicopters to help crews get to areas that are inaccessible by land.

Owen adds that the fact that this work is being done during the winter time is strategic. “Along the route, the ground is frozen which gives us access to areas we wouldn’t normally have access to during the spring or summer.” The snow-covered ground also minimizes environmental damage.

Though some private property will need to be accessed, Manitoba Hydro says there is no cause for concern as they have extensive measures in place to make sure the land is treated properly. “We’re not going to be trespassing by any stretch of the imagination.”

Owen admits that they do not yet have regulatory approval for this project, but fully expect to receive it in the near future. Still, he says this exploratory work is being done to so construction crews can hit the ground running the moment they are given the go-ahead.

According to Owen, this project should be completed by the end of February.