Monday, Connecticut Light & Power used a helicopter to string lines from to just past the intersection of Spithead Road and Daniels Ave.
The helicopter completed the work in half-a-day, where it could of took a ground crew weeks, CL&P Spokesman Frank Poirot said. It also vastly decreases the environmental impact of the operation, and saves a lot of money, he said.
The work was part of a large project by CL&P to separate two circuits that run from the largest electricity producer in Connecticut, Millstone Power Station, onto two separate structures. The two separate structures, as in each line has its own set of poles instead of running off the same poles, ensures that one lightning strike, for example, does not take out all the power running from Millstone, Poirot said.
The helicopter runs a nylon rope through pulleys on the lines, then a steel line is pulled through the lines using the nylon rope and then finally the wire is pulled through using the steel line, Poirot said. The helicopter pilot was a subcontractor from the state of Washington, one of a handful of people in the country capable of doing the work, he said.
“The flying skill takes a lot of eye-hand coordination, and he is pretty much doing it on his own,” he said.
CL&P has been using helicopters since at least 2005 to string lines, and they are becoming more and more popular, Poirot said.