Helicopters will install bird diverters along power lines

Wisconsin State Farmer
Diverters placed on high voltage transmission lines help to increase visibility of the wires and help protect birds from contacting the transmission lines while in flight.

High flying transmission line workers will be out in force installing bird diverters along miles of high voltage transmission lines in south central Wisconsin.

Beginning the week of March 1, workers will step onto the landing skis of an airborne helicopter installing over 1,800 devices along five transmission lines spanning Columbia, Dane, Sauk, Waupaca and Waushara counties

Using a light-duty helicopter from Winco Powerline Services, ATC’s construction partner M.J. Electric, LLC will install the bird diverters to help keep birds safe while also ensuring the reliability of the transmission system. 

“The diverters increase visibility of the wires and help protect birds from contacting the transmission lines while in flight,” said Michael Warwick, ATC senior environmental project manager in a news release. “Most of the diverters will be installed over or adjacent to wetlands and bodies of water to help protect larger, heavy-bodied species that do not maneuver easily such as geese, swans, pelicans, cranes and other waterfowl.”  

The highlighted areas shown on the maps are where helicopter crews will be install bird diverters on high voltage transmission lines.

ATC says local officials, along with local law enforcement, have been notified of the work. Diverters will be installed in the following locations:

  • Columbia County along portions of a 138,000-volt line (east of Portage, Wis.) - within a wetland area east of County F and west of County EE; over a wetland northwest of the intersection of Military and Quarry Rds.; within the Becker Waterfowl Production Area near Hwy. 22 and across the Fox River, north of Pardeeville and west of State Hwy. 44.
  • Dane County along a portion of a 69,000-volt line - near wetland areas running along a railroad track, starting at Dunkirk and Veterans Road and ending just past Collins Road outside of Stoughton, Wis. 
  • Sauk County along a portion of a 138,000-volt line (west of Portage, Wis.) - south of the Pine Island State Wildlife Area, running southwest from I-90 across County U and T and ending north of Back Rd.
  • Waupaca County along a portion of a 69,000-volt line - across Hartman Lake within Hartman Creek State Park.
  • Waushara County along a portion of a 69,000-volt line - across the Pine River north of County A in Wild Rose, Wis.  

Helicopter flight schedules may vary and are subject to change, based on weather. In the interest of safety, the public is urged to refrain from stopping, viewing and photographing the work from roadways.