Harding Spring-Gladstone, Alabama (Limestone and Madison Counties)
Update – September 2022
TVA has identified the preferred locations for transmission improvements that would provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Athens and Huntsville areas in Limestone and Madison Counties.
TVA evaluated each alternative using social, engineering, and environmental factors. Information sources included available data, aerial photography, limited onsite reviews, public review and comment, and property owner input. Based on public input and evaluation, the preferred route is expected to have the least overall project impacts of the alternatives.
The preferred locations are switching station Site 1 and line Route 4 (consisting of Segments 1, 3, 9, and 10) as presented at the Virtual Open House held June 9 through July 11, 2022. Switching station Site 1 is located on E. Limestone Road in Athens, adjacent to TVA’s existing Limestone-Athens 161-kilovolt Transmission Line, north of the intersection of Nick Davis Road and E. Limestone Road.
TVA will build 14 miles of transmission line from the proposed Harding Spring Switching Station to the Gladstone Switching Station currently underway in Huntsville. For the initial 1.4 miles, the line will utilize the mostly existing right of way with up to 62.5 feet of additional/new right of way width required when paralleling the existing Limestone-Athens and North Huntsville-Limestone 161-kilovolt Transmission Lines. Single-pole steel structures will be utilized for this section.
Approximately 8.3 miles of the North Huntsville-Limestone Line will be rebuilt as a double-circuit on the existing right of way. Double-pole steel structures will be utilized for this section. Preferred line Route 4 consists of the final 4 miles of the new line and begins near TVA’s existing North Huntsville Switching Station on Nick Fitcheard Road and extends northeast to the Gladstone Switching Station. The 4-mile section will be built using primarily single-pole steel structures and require a new 100-foot-wide right of way.
Surveys of the right of way are scheduled to begin in fall 2022.
Easement purchases are scheduled to begin in winter 2023-2024.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer 2024.
The line is scheduled to be in service in the summer 2025.
The National Environmental Policy Act review is pending.
TVA is considering improvements to its transmission system that would improve power reliability and increase transmission capacity in the Athens and Huntsville areas in order to support economic development and load growth. These areas are served by the Athens Electric Department and Huntsville Utilities.
TVA is proposing to build the Harding Spring Switching Station. There are two site alternatives under consideration for the switching station.
- Alternative No. 1 is on E. Limestone Road in Athens, adjacent to TVA’s existing Limestone-Athens 161-kilovolt Transmission Line, about 0.4 miles north of the intersection of Nick Davis Road and E. Limestone Road.
- Alternative No. 2 is on Menefee Road in Athens, adjacent to TVA’s existing Limestone-Athens 161-kilovolt Transmission Line, about 0.4 miles north of the intersection of Nick Davis Road and Menefee Road.
TVA will build a transmission line from the new Harding Spring Switching Station extending northeast to the Gladstone Switching Station. The Gladstone Switching Station is currently underway on the east side of Liberty Hill Road in Huntsville, about 0.3 miles south of the intersection of Liberty Hill and Monroe Roads.
The total length of the new line will be about 14 miles. Sections of this line are as follows:
- Initial 1.4 miles of new, single-circuit built parallel to (and north of) the existing Limestone-Athens 161-kilovolt and N. Huntsville-Limestone 161-kilovolt Transmission Lines. The initial 0.7 miles will utilize only existing right of way. The remaining 0.7 miles will require up to 62.5 feet of additional/new right-of-way width.
- An 8.3-mile section of the N. Huntsville-Limestone line will be torn down and rebuilt as a double-circuit with the new Harding Spring-Gladstone line on the existing right of way.
- A 4-mile section of new single-circuit line will be built, requiring a new right of way.
There are two alternative sites for the switching station and ten alternative segments under consideration for the route of the new transmission line.
The new line would consist primarily of single- and double-pole steel structures on a combination of existing and new right of way as detailed above.
Additional benefits of the project include:
- Improve transmission reliability for local power companies and existing area industries. Adding 161-kilovolt line breakers and improving telecommunications (fiber) protection systems will help ensure transmission faults are cleared quickly.
- Improved equipment reliability will allow TVA to take outages on area transmission/ generation equipment and help ensure scheduled maintenance is performed.
- Provide for future transmission expansion and help support future load growth through the proposed Harding Spring Switching Station.
Property owners near and along the alternative transmission line segments have been invited to a virtual open house by mail – including about 120 property owners representing about 154 parcels.
The virtual open house is available from June 9 through July 11, 2022, at tvavirtual.com/hardingspring.
Property owners and members of the public are invited to submit comments and questions about this proposed transmission project through July 11, 2022.
The project is expected to be in service in the summer of 2025. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024. (Dates are subject to change. During projects of this magnitude, unexpected issues may arise, resulting in the need to adjust the schedule.)
TVA held a virtual open house online from June 9 through July 11, 2022, to present the project. Within this 30-day comment period, property owners and members of the public were able to submit questions and comments online, in writing, or by telephone.
The map shows the area of the proposed transmission improvements. The map is also available below as a PDF file.
If you have questions or need help understanding the map, please contact TVA (see below).
Possible route of proposed transmission line (PDF)
Preferred route of proposed transmission line (PDF)
(Dates are subject to change—unexpected issues may arise, resulting in the need to adjust the schedule.)
|Virtual Open House begins||June 9, 2022|
|Comments accepted through||July 11, 2022|
|Determine preferred route for field surveys||Late summer 2022|
|Surveys of the right of way are scheduled to begin||Fall 2022|
|Easement purchases are scheduled to begin||Winter 2023-2024|
|Construction is scheduled to begin||Summer 2024|
|Project in service||Summer 2025|
The appropriate National Environmental Policy Act review will be conducted to ensure that the environmental impacts are minimized. TVA attempts to minimize any land requirements, private property impacts, and environmental impacts associated with this project.
Efforts are made during the siting process to avoid or minimize impacts to floodplains and wetlands in accordance with Executive Orders 11988 and 11990. Floodplains and wetlands are shown on the referenced map. The map illustrates how the route avoids or impacts floodplains and wetlands. Because of project and topographic constraints and because of minimizing impacts to other social, environmental, and engineering resources, no practicable alternative may be available that would allow complete avoidance of impacts to floodplains and wetlands which may require mitigation for minimizing impacts. Also, best management practices would be utilized throughout the project to minimize adverse floodplain and wetland impacts. In compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, TVA will be coordinating wetland findings with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
More information on this project can be obtained from:
1101 Market Street, MR 4G
Chattanooga, TN 37402