Helicopter tree removal for North Tahoe power line project to begin | SierraSun.com

Helicopter tree removal for North Tahoe power line project to begin

Staff report

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — Liberty Utilities will begin helicopter tree removal after May 26 for the portion of the 650 Electrical Line Upgrade Project on National Forest System lands north of Highway 267 from Brockway Summit to Kings Beach.

"Tree removal for the project will also take place on private lands," according to a U.S. Forest Service news release. "Public access to the area will be limited during the helicopter operations for public safety.

The Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) will not be closed during the project, but periodic access to the TRT by escort during the helicopter operations will be required where the trail crosses Highway 267 and the project area on the north side of Brockway Summit.

According to USFS, trails and forest roads may experience temporary restrictions, and hazards may be present even when operations have ended for the day.

"Liberty Utilities will post signs in the area of potentially hazardous conditions associated with the tree removal," officials said. "For safety purposes, the public is asked to observe and follow all posted restrictions."

The 650 Line runs from Truckee to Kings Beach, parallel to Highway 267 for much of the alignment. Within the Tahoe Basin, the project is primarily located on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, and on private lands.

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Construction to replace and upgrade the existing power line will take place throughout the summer and fall after the timber removal is complete.

"The 650 electrical line is one of the oldest lines in Liberty Utilities' service territory, and is critical to the overall North Lake Tahoe electric reliability," officials have said previously. "Upgrading the line, which will eventually operate as part of a 120 kV loop, allows greater load transfer and switching capability and will improve Liberty's ability to serve the North Lake Tahoe area."

Visit libertyutilities.com to learn more.