The Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project was a complete IBEW effort. The 180-mile transmission line runs through the hills of Wisconsin, bringing renewable and cost efficient energy to the Midwest.
David Effertz, Manager of Construction, American Transmission Company, said, “The Badger Coulee project is a joint project with American Transmission Company, ATC, and Xcel Energy. The project started in Middleton, Wisconsin, then flows north to Black River Falls, and turns west and heads towards La Crosse, Wisconsin. It allows access to renewable energy sources and reliable electric power.”
The 580 million project was completely manned by the IBEW, a joint effort between outside locals 2150 and 953. Everybody that worked out in the field was union (IBEW).
Paul Hartgerink, Business Agent, IBEW 2150, said, “953 and 2150 are like sister locals. We all work under the same contract, except they (953) control the Western part of the state and we control the Eastern.”
With so many tasks as a full-scale job such as this, it’s the perfect learning environment for an apprentice as they are exposed to new experiences everyday.
Jim Stuebs, Superintendent, American Transmission Company, said, “Exposure for an apprentice on a line this large is amazing. Apprentices run the gamut out here.”
Logan Rockwell, 2nd Step Apprentice, IBEW 2150, said, “They play a really big role on this job. You do so many different things. You’re dealing with wire and steel. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on day-to-day.”
Throughout the 180 miles of transmission line, teams battle difficult rolling terrain and taxing weather. With an abundance of pre-planning and skilled labor, they were able to overcome and execute their jobs to the highest standard.
Jim Stuebs, Superintendent, American Transmission Company, said, “Wisconsin isn’t a very hilly terrain, but the area we were going through is about as hilly as it gets. It’s not the Rocky Mountains, but for Wisconsin it’s basically the Rockies of Wisconsin.”
The Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project is a perfect example of the importance of skilled labor. From start to finish, IBEW Locals 2150 and 953 worked together to bring power to the Midwest. It showed reliability isn’t about the things you say, but the things you do.
David Effertz, Manager of Construction, American Transmission Company, said, “From a skilled labor resource, having the IBEW is extremely valuable for us. From the beginning of the project, ATC was able to have a comfort factor in knowing the resource is getting the right training in advance. ATC and the IBEW having that relationship over many years allows ATC to understand we can count on that resource to construct the project to a very high quality.”