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Keeley Civil Spotlight: Holland-Neoga T-Line

Keeley Construction’s Civil Energy Group was called upon by a decades-long trusted partner to assist with the upgrade and rebuild of the Holland-Neoga T-Line in Illinois. This 16-mile transmission line started with the Holland NW Substation and ended with the Neoga S. Substation. Following the completion of the project, an electrical contractor was able to upgrade the old 345kV line to a new, double circuit 345kV line on monopoles, carrying more capacity and reducing the footprint on the surrounding farmer’s fields.

When the client first approached Keeley about this project, the team provided the requested proposal under the parameters of working under a single, 10-week outage, running multiple drill rigs running simultaneously. This original scope was called into question by the client’s operations group, leading to a new scope in which the outage needed to be minimized as much as possible. Keeley’s wealth of experience in the Drilling and Energy Delivery markets proved to be a perfect fit as the team understood the client’s needs and were able to provide an innovative solution. After many discussions and some tactical planning, it was decided that about 92% of the project could be performed under the hazard of the live, high voltage transmission line if Keeley adjusted their approach and equipment set-up. This ability to adapt to changing needs allowed Keeley to submit a new proposal that would only require just two short outages throughout the duration of the project. After Keeley was awarded the project, the team continued to innovate and was able to formulate an improved plan, reducing the need for two outages down to one and completing the project two months ahead of schedule.

The Holland-Neoga transmission line’s voltage required a clearance of 20 feet. This line also had the ability to sag depending on the amount of voltage being transmitted and ambient heat, so all crew leaders conducted daily and hourly checks on the height of the line to guarantee crew safety. The team placed 102 drilled pier foundations in soils consisting of clay, shale, limestone, and glacial till. The largest pier was an 11’ diameter with 52’ embedment, and the smallest pier was a 7’ diameter with 19’ embedment. All drilling and the placement of the foundations were completely self-performed by Keeley. The Civil Energy team bought a specific drill rig for this project, allowing the team to drill large diameter piers under energized lines. The ownership of this rig, and several other specialty rigs, allows the team more control in eliminating and preventing outages, along with leveling our workforce. This stead approach to work allowed this entire project to be completed to the highest quality standards and with ZERO safety incidents.

Performing 16-mile transmission line foundations without an outage had an incredibly positive impact on our client and the surrounding community. Keeley’s dedication and hard work minimized the client’s business disruption, allowing them to continue to deliver power. It also benefitted the community as it gave residents peace of mind knowing that they would experience little to no disruption while upgrades were being performed on the grid.

“This 16-mile double circuit 345kV line in Shelby County, IL is a crucial aspect of the expanding power grid. The rebuild of this line increases the reliability of the power grid.”

-Keeley Construction's Project Manager

I always have confidence that Keeley has the expertise to get the work done. When the project suddenly changed from outage to hazard work they helped work out a solution that worked for everyone.

-Client’s Project Engineer

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