Flatiron: Powering Estes Park
A long-anticipated transmission line rebuild project by Colorado residents got underway in August 2022 and was successfully completed 14 months later thanks to a strong public-private partnership. Centuri played a major role as the transmission line subcontractor through our electric services provider National.
The project was complex due to the unique terrain and dynamic Rocky Mountain environment, and crossed federal, state, and private lands. Following a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment and Record of Decision, and extensive planning by the project teams, the work to replace two, 16-mile, wood transmission lines with one, 16-mile, double-circuit steel transmission line between the Town of Estes Park and Flatiron Reservoir got underway. The project scope was extensive and required constant communication and detailed planning. A highlight for project spectators: the CH-47 Chinook helicopter poles ranging from 8,000 lbs to 15,000 lbs. Just a week prior, National organized and prepared all the poles.
The project brings significant benefits to the residents, including installing more resilient steel structures and removing deteriorating wood structures, cutting in half the transmission corridors and associated environmental footprint by co-locating two transmission lines onto a single right-of-way, reducing wildfire hazards to transmission structures, and improving maintenance access for routine work and emergencies.
The National team planned, scheduled, and executed intermittent and overlapping transmission clearances over the course of the 14-month project. The work required close coordination with federal and state agencies including the US Forest Service, State Park, Colorado Fish and Game and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The strong collaboration helped ensure the work was completed safely and seamlessly while ensuring the protection of environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas and cultural resources. Now, the residents of Estes Park have more reliable, safe electricity.