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AmerenUE to Begin Final Phase of Mid-Missouri Transmission Line Upgrades
AmerenUE will soon begin the final phase in a series of major upgrades to its electric transmission system in mid-Missouri that began in 2001. The upgrades, which include new transmission lines, two new substations, and improvements to some existing facilities, are designed to relieve overloading on existing lines, strengthen reliability, and provide capacity for future growth in electricity usage throughout the area. When completed, the total cost of all the projects will be nearly $57 million.

The newest phase\-called the Loose Creek-Mariosa Delta Transmission Line Project\- will involve building an 11-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line connecting Mariosa Delta Substation, a new substation that is being built near Osage City, to the new Loose Creek Substation currently under construction just southwest of Linn. The cost of this line will be about $8 million.

The line will be built using mainly wooden two-pole "H-frame" structures from 90 to 100 feet tall. A final route for the new line has not yet been chosen, but AmerenUE says public input will play a key role in the selection process. The company expects to begin construction in February 2007 and have the line in service by June 1, 2008.

AmerenUE Central Ozarks Division Manager Larry Merry says the new line, along with the other improvements, will benefit the entire mid-Missouri area.

"These improvements will primarily benefit AmerenUE customers in Cole, Osage, southern Boone and southern Callaway County, but the benefits will also affect a much wider area," Merry says.

"That's because the project will not only provide enhanced service to local residents and businesses, but many facilities critical to the operation of Missouri state government are located in this area. It will also benefit medical facilities, industries, offices and retail centers that employ thousands of local residents, serve a large area, and are vital to the mid- Missouri economy," Merry says.

In developing the Loose Creek-Mariosa Delta project, AmerenUE planners considered the geography and land-use patterns of the area, along with engineering and technical requirements, to identify several suitable alternative routes for the new line. The company then sought comments and recommendations from city and county officials, business leaders, realtors, the Missouri Farm Bureau, state resource agency officials, and others who are knowledgeable about local geography, growth patterns and economic conditions.

This week, AmerenUE is sending letters to everyone who owns property within 300 feet of any of the proposed routes, inviting them to a special workshop to discuss the project. At the workshop, property owners will have an opportunity to meet with members of the AmerenUE team that is responsible for the project, view detailed maps and aerial photographs of the proposed routes, ask questions, and provide comments. Those who are not able to attend the workshop will be invited to contact AmerenUE to discuss the project individually.

AmerenUE will not have to purchase any property for the new line, only easements. Affected property owners will continue to own their land. Depending on the final route chosen, the company estimates that about 40 easements will be needed.

AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. The Ameren companies serve 2.3 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.

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