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Novelution on the road to wind farm construction

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2010

As Novelution Wind, LLC, draws closer to commencing construction on wind farms in Platte County, they met with the Platte County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday to discuss road agreements.

Novelution Wind plans to start the construction phase of their wind farms as early as April, according to Dr. Thomas Laviolette, President of the Chugwater based company, when “stringer roads” leading to the actual turbine sites would begin to be laid.

While preliminary road construction would entail the use of standard trucking equipment, the building of the actual wind turbines would require the use of significantly larger transportation vehicles as well as heavier traffic on the roads.

Currently, Dr. Laviolette said the proposed route for Novelution’s construction would require the use of Hwy 313 south of Chugwater, to the County Line Road. Trucks would then use both Moon and Hellbaum roads, which are currently County roads.

Jim Lockman, Superintendent of the Road and Bridge Department, said the County wants to keep the roads used by Novelution “in the best possible condition”. This may require laying gravel on the roads prior to heavy construction traffic, which would likely occur in the summer, as well as setting other traffic requirements and agreements for road usage.

“My goal is to end up with better roads than what we started with,” Dr. Laviolette told the Commissioners. He said the company plans to keep a road grader near the construction sites, and is willing to help with the long-term maintenance of the roads.

County Line Road is not currently a Platte County Road, and is located in both Platte and Goshen Counties. It is considered a private road, although the United States Military has easement rights to the road, and has granted Novelution permission to use the road for construction purposes.

During the meeting, discussion was brought up on the possibility of making the County Line Road a Platte County Road in order to simplify maintenance requirements for Novelution Wind on the road.

For the complete article see the 01-13-2010 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-13-2010 paper.

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