FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A helicopter is being used to help string new power lines as part of a major infrastructure upgrade project by Indiana Michigan Power in Fort Wayne.

The work began in an area northeast of the intersection of Webster Road and U.S. 30. The helicopter will then move north to an area near I-469 and U.S. 24.

The helicopter and ground crews will install ropes between the towers, covering about 4 miles. The crews will install eight sets of ropes. The work using the helicopter is expected to continue throughout the day and may extend into Wednesday. After the ropes are installed, ground crews will begin using the ropes to pull power lines to the towers, a process that will take about two weeks. Weather conditions could alter the schedule.

The line installation is part of I&Ms Eastern Fort Wayne Transmission Line Rebuild Project. The $20 million project involves rebuilding 12 miles of a 138-kilovolt transmission line connecting a substation southeast of Fort Wayne with the large Robinson Park substation near I-69 and I-469 north of the city. The project will strengthen the local electric transmission system, reducing the likelihood of power outages and upgrading to support economic development.

In the coming weeks lines will be installed on additional segments to the northwest in coming weeks and months without the use of the helicopter. As part of the project, I&M will replace existing lattice towers with innovative Breakthrough Overhead Line Design (BOLD) structures, which suspend lines from a crescent-shaped cross-arm balanced on a steel pole.

The single pole takes up less land than the lattice towers and has a lower profile. The BOLD lines are also used west of Fort Wayne and along I-69 south of Fort Wayne near the Marion area.