Controlled explosion brings down power lines over Niagara River

BUFFALO, N.Y. –Some huge power lines that run between the U.S. and Canada near the Peace Bridge were taken down Saturday morning in a dramatic way.

The transmission cables were removed around 9:45 a.m. from two steel towers located in Buffalo and in Fort Erie with a planned implosion.

There was a loud boom, similar to fireworks, and a small cloud of smoke before the cables connected to the Buffalo High Tower fell into the Niagara River. Crews immediately pulled them to the Fort Erie side of the international border.

Portions of the Niagara Parkway, Interstate 190, the Niagara River and local streets in the two cities were temporarily closed while the work was being conducted. The Peace Bridge was also closed for a short period of time.

According to Canadian Niagara Power Inc., the transmission cables are being removed from two existing lattice steel towers, one located on Queen Street in Fort Erie and the other, the Buffalo High Tower, on the Buffalo side.

Busti Avenue, east of the Buffalo High Tower will be closed until 5:00 p.m. on November 14th (from Niagara Street to Hampshire Street). This closure is to facilitate work removing the towers at National Grid's facility.

Steve Brady, with national grid, says more than a year of planning went into this Saturday's controlled explosion, and he says more modern towers, which will eventually replace the old ones, will be easier to maintain.

The current ones have stood on either side of the river for almost a century.

Motorists will be notified of the scheduled closure through message boards at the Peace Bridge and on the I-190. Temporary detour signs will be set in place during the project work to direct motorists along local streets.

More information on this project is available on the Canadian Niagara Power website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter at @CNPpower #IPLproject.


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