RURAL AXTELL — Dangling about 30 feet below a helicopter and 150 feet above ground, a Source Helicopter lineman, secured in a harness, deftly installed travelers onto steel towers here Wednesday morning.
Source Helicopter is a Texas-based subcontractor hired by Brink Contractors of Rapid City, S.D., contractor for construction of the 53-mile, 345,000-volt Nebraska Public Power District Axtell-to-Kansas transmission line.
As of Tuesday, the helicopter is being used to string the overhead ground wire across the towers. Installing the travelers — another name for pulleys — on the towers is one of the first steps.
NPPD construction manager Clint Robinson, who works in the Minden field office, said the helicopter then will pull a rope through the travelers, across the towers. The rope is attached to the ground wire and is used to pull the wire where it needs to go.
The helicopter eventually will return. A lineman will remove the travelers and bolt the lines to the tower arms.