On any given day, it’s not unusual to see helicopters hovering overhead in the Hackensack Meadowlands – monitoring traffic conditions or ferrying passengers between New York and New Jersey.
But the helicopter that drivers along the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike saw early in October was anything but routine. PSE&G used a specialized, heavy-lift helicopter called a Skycrane to deconstruct 13 existing transmission towers and construct 12 new 115-foot towers in the North Arlington meadows as part of the Northeast Grid Reliability Project.
Pilots of the helicopter first removed the old towers piece by piece, carrying the steel structures to a designated area for eventual recycling. Once the helicopter removed the old towers, construction of the new ones commenced. One by one, pilots picked up individual tower sections and moved them into position, while workers on the ground called “catch crews” waited to secure each section and bolt it into place, ascending the tower from the base upward as the work progressed.
Using the Skycrane to do this work minimized the environmental impact on the Meadowlands by reducing the need for trucks, cranes and other heavy equipment to traverse this environmentally sensitive area. It’s just one of many steps PSE&G has taken to upgrade electric lines while protecting the environment, underscoring the point that we don’t have to choose between carrying out these essential infrastructure improvements and caring for the environment.
Northeast Grid is just one of a number of upgrades to our electric transmission and distribution facilities that will see PSE&G invest more than $10 billion during the period 2014-2019. Not only will this investment improve the resiliency and maintain the reliability of our system, it is creating thousands of jobs here at PSE&G, in the construction trades across New Jersey, and with New Jersey-based businesses that supply us with the materials and resources we need to carry out our work.
The work we are doing will help keep New Jersey a great place to live and to do business in, and that is good for our customers and the state we all call home.
Read news coverage of PSE&G’s Skycrane construction: