Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power is investing $50 million to upgrade substation equipment and rebuild nearly 30 miles of transmission line in Indiana and Ohio, the utility announced Tuesday. The project will include replacing deteriorating wooden poles that date back to the 1960s.
The project involves 29 miles of electric lines between Fort Wayne and Hicksville, Ohio that I&M says have experienced more than 30 power outages in the past five years.
The utility says the old poles will be replaced with modern steel poles. The overall upgrades are expected to improve the line’s operational performance.
“The estimated $50 million investment into northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio will help ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electrical service to customers in Allen County, Indiana and Defiance County, Ohio,” I&M Community Affairs Manager Kelly Rentschler said in written remarks. “The upgrades will help I&M respond in the event of a power outage and reduce the likelihood of extended outages for customers, including during severe weather events.”
I&M says the Fort Wayne-Hicksville Transmission Line Project will include:
- Rebuilding about 24 miles of 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from Robison Park Substation off Diebold Road in Fort Wayne to the Indiana state border near County Road 64.
- Rebuilding about 1 mile of 69-kV transmission line from the Ohio state border near Spencerville Hicksville Road to North Hicksville Substation off Elm Street in Hicksville.
- Rebuilding about 5 miles of 69-kV transmission line from the Ohio state border near Spencerville Hicksville Road to South Hicksville Substation off Clemmer Road in Hicksville.
- Replacing three poles along a 138-kV transmission line off Antwerp Road in Hicksville.
- Upgrading equipment at St. Joe Substation off Washington Street.
Construction is expected to begin next spring and be complete in the summer of 2027.