FAQs

These are the most common questions we have received about the project. As the project progresses, we will be adding more questions and answers, so check back often!

Why is NIPSCO making this improvement?
NIPSCO’s planned project to build a new 100-mile electric transmission line from Reynolds to Burr Oak to Topeka, IN will enhance system reliability, offer environmental benefits by increasing access to wind and solar energy and allow for greater access to supplies of electricity including improved access to lower cost electricity for customers.

Where will the route go?
The final route that will connect NIPSCO’s Reynolds substation (in Reynolds, IN), Burr Oak substation (in Burr Oak, IN) and Hiple substation (near Topeka, IN) can be viewed here. Prior to selecting this route, many factors were taken into consideration including: public input, historic, cultural and environmental impacts. In addition to soliciting input from those groups, we also met with government and regulatory agencies to help determine the final route.

Will the route affect cities or towns?
The route utilizes the rural areas in the region and largely avoids cities and towns.

Who will own and operate this line?
The project will be owned and operated by NIPSCO.

Will there be an opportunity for public input on this project?
Public input continues to be a critical component of this project and from the outset we were committed to keeping the public informed. We hosted public open houses in February and July 2013 to solicit input on the project route, answer questions, and to address any concerns.

Will the project protect the environment?
An environmental review was conducted as part of the routing effort to avoid and/or minimize impacts to environmentally sensitive areas. Additionally, the project will improve access to existing and future sources of renewable energy, including Indiana wind power.

Will the jobs associated with this project go to people in Indiana?
Our commitment is to hire local labor first. Many Indiana residents, businesses, and workers will benefit from the project’s purchase of construction materials (such as gravel and concrete) and the spending power of those employed by the project.

How wide will the transmission line corridor be?
The corridor is expected to be approximately 200 feet wide based on the voltage of the line and height of the structures. These corridors are usually referred to as rights-of-way, or ROWs.

How tall will the structures be for this line?
The anticipated height of most of the structures will be between 130 feet to 195 feet.

Will you need to purchase my property?
NIPSCO will not be purchasing the property but purchasing easements—the right to use the land for building and maintaining the transmission line. Acquiring easements allows the property owner to continue using the property (such as for farming) as long as it doesn't interfere with NIPSCO's facilities and its maintenance.

When will the project be complete?
We expect construction to begin in June 2016 with construction complete late 2018.

Why does this project take so many years to complete?
This is a large-scale project requiring several steps before construction can even begin, such as conducting engineering and environmental studies, holding public meetings, selecting the route, and obtaining right-of-way easements and all necessary permits. An ample amount of time allows us to complete this project the right way.

~NEW~ What will happen during construction?
Construction is anticipated to start. A number of different crews will be working along the project using a variety of equipment during construction—the public should expect to see bull dozers, cranes, drill rigs, bucket trucks, fork lifts, skid steers, helicopters, and a lot of pickup trucks in the project area. The following are the general steps of construction:

    1. Right-of-Way Clearing
    2. Work Area Preparation
    3. Structure Foundation Installation
    4. New Structure Installation
    5. Wire Stringing
    6. Restoration

Click HERE for our June 2016 Newsletter with the most current construction phase updates.