Construction Info

The Construction Process

There are several stages to the construction process. This page will let you know what to expect during the construction of the RARP.

The technique and duration of construction activities will vary depending on the terrain and contractor as necessary.

Pre-Construction Surveys and Site Preparation


Prior to beginning construction activities in any given area, survey crews walk every mile of the route to mark construction locations and right-of-way (ROW) limits in accordance with the approved Environmental Protection and Construction Plan (EM&CP). This survey activity also occurs at substation sites as necessary, with more extensive activity at the new Station 255 greenfield site off of East River Road in the Town of Henrietta and less activity at Station 418 by the Rochester Technology Park in the Town of Gates, where a portion of the Station will be expanded.

The survey crews will use different colored flags and stakes to identify resources and landmarks such as:

  • Clearing limits
  • Danger trees
  • Access roads
  • Structure locations and work spaces
  • sensitive natural resources such as wetlands and streams
  • rare, endangered, or protected animals, plants, and habitats

Site Clearing and Preparation

Crews may begin clearing the ROW and substation properties after survey delineation. This process involves:

  • mowing or laying down timber mats for temporary access ways
  • removing vegetation and trees capable of growing into the transmission lines and "danger trees" that could fall into the lines
  • "side-trimming," or trimming trees on the clearing boundary to remove any branches that extend into the mandatory clearance area or that could threaten the lines
  • removing and/or chipping cleared trees and vegetation
  • mowing access roads and areas around new structure locations

Access Road Development

Existing roads will be used where practical. Where necessary, new access roads will be constructed preferably within the ROW or on substation property. After construction is complete and the area is completely rehabilitated, we will restore roads and entrances per permit requirements unless they are necessary for permanent access to the ROW. Strict run-off controls will be in place and managed throughout the project.

Overhead Transmission Lines

Foundation Installation

Structure types and heights are based on the unique engineering requirements for each project location. The structures that will be used for the RARP are steel monopoles/Y- Type structures and will either be direct embed or erected on concrete foundations. For structures with foundations, concrete will be delivered by truck.

Erecting Structures and Stringing Conductors

Once foundations are in place, construction crews will erect the structures within the ROW. Steel poles will be assembled using a truck-mounted crane and then lifted onto the foundations.

Next, insulators and attachment hardware will be installed and stringing sheaves (rollers or blocks) attached to the insulators. The conductors will be strung by attaching the conductor to a steel line and pulled through each structure’s stringing sheaves under tension to keep the conductors well off the ground.

Conductor pulling sites located along the ROW will provide space for tractors, trailers with spools of conductor, and tensioning equipment.

Underground Transmission Lines

In the beginning stages of construction, the underground alignment will be surveyed and existing utilities will be demarcated. Traffic control measures will be implemented to provide a safe working area. In areas where the installation is in a paved road, the pavement will be saw cut before excavation. 

The duct bank trench will be excavated to the design depths and PVC conduits will be installed. These conduits will provide a sleeve that the electrical cable can be pulled through. The conduit will be encased in thermally approved sand backfill. A layer of concrete, called a concrete cap, is placed above the backfill, encasing the conduits to provide mechanical protection; marking tape is used to provide a warning in case of future excavation. Above the concrete cap the trench is backfilled and compacted with a granular material or a high slump ‘dig-able’ concrete. After the trench is backfilled, disturbed areas will be restored. 

During the process of installing the conduit system there are some cases a trenchless crossing technique is utilized, such as horizontal directional drilling or a horizontal bore. Some typical applications for these types of uses are when crossing under rivers, streams, large culverts, highways or railroads.

Once the splice pits or splice vaults are installed, the cable is pulled through the conduit system from splice point to splice/termination point. This means that during cable installation, the only locations that will have disturbance shall be the splice locations. After the cable has been pulled into a pit or vault it is spliced to the next run of cable. Once the splicing operation has been completed, the splice pit or splice vault is restored to grade and the splicing operation moves to the next splice location.



As part of the RARP, a new substation (Station 255) will be constructed in the Town of Henrietta off of East River Road. At this location, substation site development will include vegetative clearing, construction of temporary access ways and transmission lines, groundwork and excavation. 

In addition to construction of the new Station 255, upgrades or expansions will be made to existing Stations 418, 80 (located off of Lehigh Station Road in the Town of Henrietta), 23 (located on State Street in the City of Rochester), Niagara, and Kintigh in the towns of Gates, Henrietta, Niagara, Somerset, and in the City of Rochester. Some site development work may be necessary at these locations, including excavation. 


At Station 23 and Kintigh, there will be updates to the protections and communications, with no additions or replacements needed at the existing stations. 

Station 80 and Niagara will have work completed inside the existing fence and to the protections and communications inside each stations control building. The construction activities within the fence consist of replacements of existing equipment and also additional trenches to Station 80’s control building.

Station 418 will have an additional bay added for a new underground circuit along with upgrades to the existing bus system. This work consists of installation of foundations for the new equipment hardware and the incoming underground cables steel structures. All of the above ground work will be the new equipment in the bay along with the terminations for the underground cable.

Station 255 will be an extensive operation that involves all aspects of substation construction. After new access roads are installed, the civil work for the substation pad will be built, allowing for foundations, conduit, and ground grids to be installed (in-ground works). Once a vast majority of in-ground works is completed, the above ground work will begin which involves installation of a control building, steel structures, transformers, and major equipment.


After all construction activities have been completed, ground cover and vegetation are encouraged to grow back. In some areas vegetative buffers or other landscaping may be installed. Good construction practices will be used to stabilize disturbed soils to promote re-vegetation and progress will be monitored. If any damage occurs to roads, they will be restored to their original state.

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