PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Electric & Gas Co. will start construction of the Susquehanna-Roseland power line project in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on Sept. 3. The project will begin with access road construction. Later in the construction process, crews will drill and pour new concrete foundations, remove the existing 85-year-old power line, set the new poles and install the new wires. Construction in the four miles of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area will take about six months to complete.
Because of construction activities, at various times there will be temporary restrictions or closures of some roads and trails in the park. The utilities are working closely with the National Park Service to minimize these inconveniences, and to ensure the safety of all park visitors during construction.
The companies have implemented a broad-based information plan to keep the public and park visitors informed of construction activities, including any temporary trail and road closings. This information will be available on the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Website, www.nps.gov/dewa/; on the PPL Electric Utilities Susquehanna-Roseland project website, http://www.pplreliablepower.com/Susquehanna-Roseland; and on the PSE&G Susquehanna-Roseland project website, www.pseg.com/SR.
The Susquehanna-Roseland power line is being built to maintain the reliability of the electric grid for millions of people in the Northeast. The independent regional power grid operator, PJM Interconnection, ordered the new line to prevent violations of national standards for the operation of the nation's electric power grid.
The Susquehanna-Roseland power line will run from Berwick, Pa., to Roseland, N.J. About 95 percent of this 145-mi route follows the path of an existing, aging power line that must be replaced because it is approaching the end of its useful life and is undersized for today's electricity demands. Following an existing power line route reduces the project's overall impact on people and the environment.
The route crosses the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail on the path of the existing power line.
As part of its Environmental Impact Statement process, the National Park Service required PPL and PSE&G to mitigate for impacts of the line. Mitigation includes avoidance of impacts where possible, minimization of impacts to greatest extent possible and compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts.