The rebuilding of a large high-voltage transmission tower in Oak Ridge was completed Sunday, and South Illinois Avenue re-opened to traffic at about midnight.
The 155-foot steel lattice tower that had to be replaced was knocked over when a pickup truck crashed into it at about 4:15 p.m. Friday. The tower, which is at Union Valley Road, carries high-voltage Tennessee Valley Authority transmission lines and city transmission and distribution lines.
The four-lane road, the main connection between Oak Ridge and Knox County, was closed for about two days after the crash while crews removed and replaced the damaged transmission tower.
TVA said the crash also caused damage to three smaller structures, and they were repaired.
The crash closed a major highway (State Route 62) and affected traffic to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex, TVA said.
“A big thank you goes out to our Transmission line crews and crews from the Oak Ridge Electric Department,” the public utility said.
The white Chevrolet pickup truck that crashed into the tower on Friday appeared to be towing a trailer with a Bobcat on it. It’s not clear what caused the crash on a dry, sunny afternoon. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating. Three people were injured, and charges are pending against the driver, according to the THP.
The crash caused widespread power outages, including at homes and businesses in Oak Ridge. Most customers had electrical service restored within several hours.
TVA said the transmission tower carries a 161-kilovolt double circuit line. One power line connects the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton to Norris, and the other connects Bull Run to Kingston. TVA has alternative circuits, and the public utility said it used them to help restore power Friday afternoon and evening.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. This is a free story. Thank you to our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. You can see what we cover here.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
We also accept donations. You can donate here.
Copyright 2021 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.