COLLINSVILLE - Residents living around East Alton, Cottage Hills and other communities may see helicopters in the area as early as today, March 15, as contractor line crews, working on behalf of Ameren Illinois, will be making upgrades to the transmission grid. The upgrades to the transmission grid will enhance the energy reliability and resiliency for Madison County and surrounding communities.

Brian Bretsch, a spokesperson for Ameren Illinois, said crews will spend the next three weeks flying around and working on the steel and wooden pole structures along a six-mile stretch within residential and rural areas of East Alton, Wood River Township, Rosewood Heights, Cottage Hills, Fort Russell Township and Wood River.

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“The linemen will be adding ground wires with fiber optics capability to the structures to assist in enabling communications to modern automation devices and other equipment on the electric grid,” he said.

Karen Boulanger, director of safety for Ameren Illinois, said: ”We encourage motorists who notice the helicopter work to focus on the road, maintain a safe speed, refrain from taking photos while driving and stay a safe distance from crews.”

Weather permitting, the project should wrap up around the week of April 9. Investment in this project is $1.8 million.

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