Colonels Island-Jekyll Island 46kV Line Rebuild Project

PDF: Presentation from May 2018 JIA Board of Directors Regular Meeting, Maps

Nixle: Nixle – Georgia Power 46kV Line Rebuild Project

Georgia Power is beginning work to rebuild the Colonels Island to Jekyll Island 46,000-Volt transmission line as well as lower voltage lines on the same structures. The transmission line was built in 1960 and this energy infrastructure improvement project is necessary to maintain reliable service and reduce the likelihood of extended outages that could result as the poles, lines and foundations continue to age. The line will be rebuilt with the capacity to support future growth in the area.

The entire length of the project is on Georgia DOT right of way and represents years of planning and coordination with the Jekyll Island Authority, Georgia Coastal Resources Division, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other parties.

Clearing began Monday August 5 and construction will continue in phases until around April 2020.

Periodic, temporary lane closures will be needed, generally to allow equipment to enter and exit the road and to unload new structures. The company will work with the Jekyll Island Authority to avoid lane closures during major events in the area. Extended closures should not be needed.

No planned power outages should be necessary for the island; any brief outages in the immediate vicinity required over the coming months would be communicated directly to any affected customers.

All necessary permits have been obtained and best management practices will be used throughout the project, especially as relates to temporary work in or near the marsh.


  • Radial 46kV (no alternate source)
  • Built 1960
  • 10.8 miles
  • 28 wood poles identified for replacement
  • 80 word cross braces failed
  • “Bog shoes” rotten
  • Failing hardware

Project Plan

  • Rebuild from Colonels Island to Structure #122 (Just west of the bridge)
  • Stainless steel hardware, improved conductor with “Galfan” core
  • Concrete poles in driven caissons, all self supporting – no guying
  • Designed for possible future conversion to 115kV
  • Foundation installation to begin August 2019
  • Line Construction Fall/Winter 2019-Spring 2020
  • Completion April 2020

Environmental Permitting / Surveys

Salt Marsh Delineations

  • Field studies completed June 2017
  • Permitting consultations initiated with GA Coastal Resources Division (GA-CRD) for Revocable License.  Anticipate permit July 2018
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permitting not required as project qualifies for maintenance – Nationwide Permit No. 3a
  • GA Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) buffer variance not required as total land disturbance will not exceed 1 acre. However, all Erosion and Sedimentation control BMPs will be utilized.
  • 80 structures relocated from marsh to upland, greatly reducing marsh access from future maintenance needs.  Avoidance and minimization regulatory agency requirement.

Protected Species

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemysterrapin)

  • Prior to placing construction mats within the salt marsh, GPC’s certified biologist (Mr. Jesse Brown – Jacobs Engineering) will survey the area for presence of terrapins.  Surveys will be conducted at a minimum one day prior to mat installation
  • If the terrapin is observed it will be relocated safely away from the work area
  • GPC construction crews trained on terrapin recognition by Environmental Inspector with work area inspected daily for presence
  • If sightings occur within the work area, GPC construction crews will immediately stop work until the animal leaves work area or it will be relocated

Climbing buckthorn (Sageretiaminutiflora)

  • Listed by GA-DNR State Threatened species; no Federal status
  • Field surveys to be completed in August 2018 during flowering season
  • Locations clearly marked for avoidance during construction
  • Coordination with JIA staff (Mr. Cliff Gawron) regarding Best Management Practices to avoid possible impacts to species

Cultural Resources

Itsagas Site

  • Identified in 1990 by UGA Laboratory of Archaeology
  • Recommended eligible for National Register Listing
  • Phase I Archaeological studies completed in 2017 to identify site boundaries
  • Transmission Line rebuild project designed to avoid any potential site impacts by spanning entire site and conduct only hand-clearing of vegetation, as per Best Management Practices

Update: August 21, 2019

The Tribal Representative from the Seminole Nation is expected to be on site Monday August, 26, 2019 as vegetative management will move to the archeological site area across from the Guest Information Center. Because we are not able to put any equipment in the archeological site, we will have to place mats at the edge of the road to for equipment to reach into the sensitive area and remove the larger vegetation. With having to work in close proximity to the road, we expect lane closures to be necessary. The work will take a couple of days.

Update: August 19, 2019

  • Matting and clearing continues, with matting activities completed up to approximately structure 64 (just before the entrance to the causeway) as of yesterday morning.
  • The support crew is preparing to spade the palm trees that will be temporarily removed for construction near the entrance towers.  There is some concern about the proximity of the AT&T fiber to the trees, so a hydro vac truck will expose the fiber before the trees are spaded.
  • The foundation contractor, R. R. Cassidy Inc., has mobilized a few days earlier than expected and will start installation of the foundation caissons on the Colonels Island end. They have provided a work plan that calls for them completing the foundations around October 1. Cassidy is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and their crew members all live in that area. Because of the distance they have to travel home for their breaks, they work a modified work schedule that typically includes two longer work periods, then a long weekend at home, as well as every Sunday off. They were provided the list of events and have planned their schedule to avoid being on site for the Shrimp & Grits weekend. The planned work schedule is as follows:
    • August 19-24: Monday-Saturday – working
    • August 25: Sunday – off
    • August 26-28: Monday-Wednesday – working
    • August 29-September 3: Thursday-Tuesday – off – home for Labor Day weekend
    • September 4-7: Wednesday-Saturday – working
    • September 8: Sunday – off
    • September 9-14: Monday-Saturday – working
    • September 15: Sunday – off
    • September 16-17: Monday-Tuesday – working
    • September 18-23: Wednesday-Monday – off – home for a long weekend during Shrimp & Grits Festival
    • September 24-28: Tuesday-Saturday – working
    • September 29: Sunday – off
    • September 30-October 3: working – complete project, demobilize and travel home
  • With the expectation that foundations will move more quickly than anticipated, the line crew will be reporting next Monday, August 19, and will start receiving and setting poles on Tuesday. When the foundation contractor has completed the section of foundations that is farther in the marsh, from structure 76 to 83, construction plans to bring in a second crew to expedite completion of that section so that we can remove mats from the wetlands.