FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) on Thursday announced plans to upgrade about seven miles of power lines that connect three substations in southwest Allen County.

The project will replace what are described as aging wooden poles from the 1960s with steel poles. The utility says that since 2015 there have been five service interruptions in that area and it requires frequent maintenance.

The power lines in line to be replaced are in Aboite Township in an area bounded by Dicke Road to the East, Homestead and Scott Roads to the west, Aboite Center to the south and Illinois Road to the north. Dozens of wooden poles in that area were toppled from high winds during the summer of 2022.

According to I&M, crews will need to clear all trees and woody-stemmed vegetation within the
50-foot right-of-way corridor to ensure the safe construction, operation and maintenance of the power line.

One Fort Wayne resident is worried the project could destroy his property’s backyard tree line.

“I don’t want to lose my set of trees because it gives me privacy,” said Jim Reiter, a Fort Wayne resident.

I&M representatives will host an in-person open house on Thursday, March 2, from 5:30
p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Aboite Elementary School’s gymnasium, located at 5004 Homestead
Road in Fort Wayne. The gymnasium entrance is through Door 15. Area residents are invited
to attend the open house to learn more about the project, talk with project team members
and review maps. Since there’s no formal presentation, attendees can arrive at any time during the two-hour event.

Anyone unable to attend the open house may visit the virtual open house online to access information, view an interactive map, enter the virtual open house and submit comments. Company officials expect construction to begin summer 2024 and conclude late 2025.

Comments and questions can also be sent to project outreach specialist Brian Recker at 380-205-5381,, and on the website.