b'DESIGN AND ENGINEERINGCUSTER PPD TRANSMISSION|CENTRAL NEBRASKAThedford, Nebraska From mid-February to mid-April, one of the greatest events in our natural world occurs throughout the Sandhills region of central Nebraskathe migration of more than 500,000 sandhill cranes from their winter-feeding grounds in Texas to their summer breeding grounds in northern Canada and Alaska. Its out of respect for these beautiful birds and what they mean to Nebraskans that Custer Public Power District (Custer PPD), the largest geographical rural public power district in Nebraska, challenged Ulteig transmission engineers to develop an avian-safe design for the replacement of 38 miles of aging transmission line between Seneca and Dunning, Nebraska. The line, which runs parallel along Highway 2, is situated in Nebraskas famous Sandhills region, a semi-arid area encompassing 19,300 square miles that features rolling, grass-covered sand dunes.This project includes converting the operating voltage of the line from 34.5 kV to 69 kV, said Kelly Bjerke, technical manager with Ulteigs transmission team. In addition, with the new, higher voltage line, we needed to not only replace the original wooden poles, most of which were installed in the mid-1950s, but also increase their height. We specified new steel poles up to 120 feet in length; however, most of the poles will be in the 75- to 85-foot range.Replacing this transmission line is part of Custer PPDs long-term plan to modernize its electrical grid system. The project will give Custer PPD more reliable and efficient electricity transmission and a new transmission line that will be good for at least 50 years. Construction on the project was launched in late November 2020 and should be complete by April 2022. 27'