Massive power lines connecting Canada to Buffalo taken down

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – On Saturday crews cut the cables from the International Power Line so they can be replaced.

Crews used an implosion cutting technique to take down the wires.

To carry out the project, Canada Power Niagara and National Grid were in contact with 40 different agencies to make sure everyone was safe.

National Grid spokesman, Steve Brady said, “We had boats out in the river looking for traffic, state police, all of the authorities cooperated.”

Boats weren’t allowed on the Niagara River and traffic along the I-190 and Peace Bridge was disrupted that morning.

Despite the interruption, neighbors came out to watch the lines come down.

Implosion

“It’s just amazing, and I want to take pictures, just to have that as a part of history,” said Dan Duchene.

Dawn Dennahower also watched the implosion, “I was up and I work here and I said oh I want to see these big eyesores come down.”

After the cables connecting the Buffalo High Tower and another in Fort Erie, Ontario came down, they were rolled up. Now all that stands are two steel towers that date back to the early 1900s.

The International Power Line has been one of the backups for a transmission line operated by Canada Niagara Power.

“If that line failed, the Town of Fort Erie would end up in black. So we have this line, and in case that happened, we can switch to the American side to keep the power supply for the town of Fort Erie,” said Jie Han, the Vice President of Operations at Canadian Niagara Power.

A spokesman for the company said the new towers should be in place by fall of 2015.

Next, crews will dismantle the towers and replace them with large steel tubular poles. Brady said they will be much more efficient and easier to maintain.

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