(AREA) -- ITCTransmission announced Tuesday that Phase 1 of its 140-mile Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line has been placed into service. Phase 1 consists of 62 miles of double-circuit, 345,000 volt lines from the new Bauer substation in Tuscola County to the new Rapson substation in Huron County. According to Gregory Ioanidis, President of ITC Michigan, the project will strengthen the transmission grid in the Thumb and serve as a backbone for the interconnection of new generation sources in the area.
During the construction phase, ITC estimates that the entire Thumb Loop project will have a direct impact of $366 million to the Michigan economy, including jobs with local contractors, vendors and suppliers. Officials say the area economy benefits from the demand for supplies and services such as concrete, hardware, fuel, gravel and trucking, as well as food, lodging and other personal needs for construction crews.
Work is proceeding on schedule for the remaining segments of the Thumb Loop project. All poles have been erected and the conductors are being installed along the 20-mile Phase 2 section in St. Clair County. Construction on Phase 3 from the Rapson substation in Huron County through Sanilac County to the Greenwood substation in St. Clair County will get underway in the first quarter of 2014. The entire project will be completed and in service in 2015.
ITCTransmission is a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corporation, the nation's largest independent electricity transmission company based in Novi.