Illinois regulators OK massive transmission line

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois regulators have signed off on the route for a massive high-voltage transmission line that would run through 19 counties, traveling from Quincy to the Indiana border.

The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the Illinois Commerce Commission approved the final route for the 375-mile-long project Thursday.

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois says the $1.1 billion Illinois Rivers Project is needed to improve the power grid’s reliability and efficiency.

The 345,000-volt transmission line will affect about 8,400 landowners.

The high-voltage line will be about 150-feet wide and will have 80 to 90-foot tall poles on 12-foot wide concrete bases. The company says that’s to allow landowners to use land for farming or grazing.

Construction is set to begin later this year. Sections could be in use by 2016.

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