“We've got one down and one to go.”

That is how Peggy Ladd, Ameren director of stakeholder relations, described Tuesday's unanimous approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) of a request from Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois to construct a new section of power line in Marion County.

“We’ve got one down and one to go.”

That is how Peggy Ladd, Ameren director of stakeholder relations, described Tuesday’s unanimous approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) of a request from Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois to construct a new section of power line in Marion County.

“The project that was approved is the Illinois Rivers Project,” explained Ladd. “That is the 7-mile section that goes between the Palmyra substation and the Mississippi River.”

Ladd reports that Ameren is anxious to begin on the Illinois Rivers Project, which will feature a 345,000-volt electric transmission line.

“We are ready to begin construction,” she said. “We’ve done some grading (at the substation site). We’ve not put any iron in the ground to this point. Now that we’ve gotten our PSC approval we’ll be able to start doing that.

“All the right-of-way has been acquired and the land for the substation has been purchased, so we’re ready to do things like survey and environmental work, and things like that. We hope that we’ll begin construction by the end of the year, but certainly by the first part of the year (2016) we’ll be under construction. You’ll see foundations going in and poles going up.”

The just-approved work will be one segment of a roughly 385-mile project that will eventually stretch across Illinois and into western Indiana.

According to Ladd, the road to approval of the Illinois Rivers Project was relatively bump free.

“It actually ran pretty smoothly. We always have some Corps of Engineers work that has to be done that we coordinate. Throughout all of that we really had no obstacles for the Illinois Rivers piece,” she said.

Another Ameren of Illinois project that would impact a handful of Northeast Missouri counties is next up for consideration by the PSC.

“The Mark Twain Project has just been filed at the PSC. That was filed on Friday. We are still in the hearing phase on all of that,” said Ladd.

It is not known when Ameren’s request for a “certificate of convenience and necessity” for the Mark Twain Project will be heard in Jefferson City.

“In our filing we asked for a January decision. We hope we’ll have it by then, but the PSC makes its own timeline and we do not have a schedule as of yet,” said Ladd.

The Mark Twain Project is facing opposition from Neighbors United, a group of landowners and concerned citizens.

 

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com .