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    Friday, September 29, 2023

    Helicopter to be flying utility poles over Mystic

    Mystic — Residents can expect to see a helicopter flying 30-foot-long utility poles over a section of town near Jerry Browne Road beginning Tuesday morning.

    Eversource is removing about 30 poles that had held now-decommissoned transmission lines beginning just west of the Aquarion Water Co. facility on Jerry Browne Road. The poles extend north to Pequot Trail along land owned by the Avalonia Land Conservancy and Aquarion Water Co. Work is scheduled to begin about 9 a.m. and last through Wednesday. 

    The removal of the poles will help reestablish the 30-foot-wide corridor as part of the adjacent Atlantic White Cedar swamp. Toby Glaza, Avalonia's stewardship coordinator, said the swamp is one of 13 such critical habitats in the state. He said the removal of the poles will allow sunlight in and help reestablish the corridor as Avalonia plans to plant 50 Atlantic White Cedars along the pole route.

    "It's a pretty exciting program for us," he said. 

    Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center Executive Director Davnet Conway said Monday that the project is cooperative effort between the nature center, Eversource, Avalonia, Aquarion and the Denison Homestead. Eversource will be using land at the end of Maritime Drive owned by the Denison Homestead to land, store and dismantle the poles after they are removed.   

    Conway said Eversource is trying to move as many of the transmission lines as possible to locations along roads because it is difficult to access and maintain lines in wooded areas such as the ones off Jerry Browne Road. She said by using a helicopter to remove the poles, the corridor will not be damaged by pulling the poles along the ground to remove them. Conway said Eversource is also trying to avoid flying the poles over roads in towns and will fly over a large portion of nature center property.

    She added that removing transmission lines will help reestablish greenways and wildlife habitat. She said coyote and deer live in the area around the swamp and she has seen bald eagles in the area. She also commended Aquarion for always going out of its way to support  environmental efforts. 


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