In spite of the widespread opposition to the 500kV double-circuit Heartland Transmission Project, tower foundations and towers have been under construction during the past 6 months by AltaLink, AltaLink’s parent company SNC-Lavalin, and EPCOR.
Almost all interveners at the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) hearing last year opposed the line because it is not needed and it should not be built above ground close to so many homes, schools, daycares and environmentally sensitive areas. Opponents of the overhead line include: RETA, HALO (Homeowners Against Lines Overhead), Alberta Landowners Council, Strathcona County, City of Edmonton, Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta, thousands of residents, farmers, other businesses, Alberta Wildrose Party, Alberta NDP, Alberta Liberals, and many others.
RETA members have been closely following construction of the tower foundations and the towers themselves. Foundations are now in place for the lattice towers within the Edmonton Greenbelt south of Anthony Henday between 91 Street (Ellerslie) and Hwy 216. Most tower foundations are completed and lattice towers are in various stages of construction within the Sherwood Park Greenbelt north of Baseline Road, in northeastern Edmonton and in eastern Sturgeon County. Many homes within the Sherwood Park Greenbelt have now been vacated, and some are in various stages of demolition or are being moved to make way for the massive 23-story towers and lines.
Even though there are at least 2 pending court actions against construction of the Heartland line, AltaLink, SNC-Lavalin and EPCOR are forging ahead with construction, confident that the courts will rule in their favour.
Following are a few photos taken August 15, 2012 (click on photo to enlarge):
One of the many homes in the Sherwood Park Greenbelt that had to be vacated to make way for the Heartland line. Prolonged exposure to overhead high voltage power line electromagnetic fields has many negative health impacts.
Partially erected lattice tower in NE Edmonton not far southwest of Kuhlmann’s Market Gardens & Greenhouses. Electromagnetic fields emanating from overhead high voltage power lines negatively affect growth of plants.
Partially erected tower in NE Edmonton near 153 Ave. Towers will be up to 77m tall (253 feet), twice as tall as any others in Alberta.
Partially erected tower in NE Edmonton.
Construction workers assembling tower in NE Edmonton south of 153 Ave. Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin, AltaLink’s parent company, is building the overhead Heartland line. SNC-Lavalin is currently at the centre of an international corruption probe, involving allegations of fraud, bribery, money laundering and unlawful payments. The company is also being sued by investors and others.
Lattice tower being assembled in Sherwood Park Greenbelt at Baseline Road & Hwy 216. This tower is right across Baseline Road from Baseline Slough which is used by thousands of waterfowl. An estimated 8,200 to 14,100 birds may die crashing into the Heartland power lines and towers every year.
Partially assembled lattice tower just NE of Meridian Street and Hwy 16. We have been told that the steel for these towers had been ordered long before the AUC hearings and decision.
Lattice tower foundations in Edmonton Greenbelt at SE Anthony Henday & 17 Street. This and several other towers are near and right on top of part of the Bretona Pond wetland complex. Birds that use these waterbodies will die crashing into the lines and towers.