SCC directs underwater construction of transmission line near Norris Bridge
The State Corporation Commission is directing that the 115 kilovolt transmission line currently connected to the Norris Bridge be rebuilt under the Rappahannock River. Given that attachment to the bridge is no longer feasible, the SCC finds that underwater construction reasonably minimizes adverse impacts of the replacement line.
Dominion Energy Virginia originally planned to replace approximately 2.2 miles of existing line with a higher voltage, overhead alternative on 10 steel tower structures located approximately 100-feet east of the bridge.
In its order, the Commission determined that the current capacity of the Rappahannock River crossing is adequate to meet existing and projected load between Middlesex and Lancaster counties. However, the line needs to be replaced because of its extensive out-of-service conditions.
More than 15 alternatives for rebuilding this segment were evaluated in the case. Based on the record, the Commission finds that “underwater construction reasonably minimizes adverse impacts of the replacement line.”
According to the Commission, “the current configuration of the line – attached to an existing bridge of substantial height and length – has served to minimize impacts of the line.” Since attachment to the bridge is no longer feasible, the Commission said, “it is technically viable” to construct and operate the replacement transmission line under the Rappahannock River.
SCC approval is conditioned upon the company obtaining any other approvals necessary for underwater construction.