Versant Power works on Silver Road in Bangor after a September 2020 storm brought high winds and knocked out power to more than 100,000 people. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Versant Power is proposing to rebuild 6 miles of the utility’s oldest transmission line, which was the first that the former Bangor Hydro-Electric Company built to serve its network decades ago.

The utility says it eventually needs to replace the entire line, which is called Line 1 and runs from Ellsworth to Veazie, because it’s in poor condition. It’s starting with a 6-mile section in Dedham and Ellsworth.

Part of the project will involve removing a section of line that’s mostly located in wetlands and relocating it to a dryer area in the utility’s existing right-of-way. Because the transmission poles have been in wetlands for so long, the line’s structural integrity has been “compromised,” the utility said in a public notice published this week.

Another section of the line, located along Route 1A, will be rebuilt. No conservation land will be needed to offset the project, Minor said.

Because of the line’s age, this project has been in the works for some time and is part of the company’s long-term reliability improvement effort, Minor said. 

The utility doesn’t have a cost estimate yet, as the project is still in the planning stage, she said. 

The roadside portion of work along Route 1A will begin in April and is expected to be completed in mid-June. 

The off-road portions of the project will be ongoing through November, according to Minor. 

Versant serves nearly 160,000 customers in northern and eastern Maine.

It will hold an informational meeting on Zoom at 7 p.m. March 17 as it applies to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for a permit and water quality certification.

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...