- Midwest Transmission Project
Burns & McDonnell was part of the upfront team for the 160-mile Midwest Transmission Project, providing services for route selection, public involvement and permitting. The project extends from Kansas City Power & Light's (KCP&L's) existing Sibley Substation near Sibley, Missouri, to a proposed substation near Maryville, Missouri, and then to the Omaha Public Power District's (OPPD's) Substation 3458 south of Nebraska City, Nebraska. The project, when complete, will reduce congestion on the regional transmission system and provide essential transmission capacity for long-term, efficient delivery of power. The project includes an alternate route for emergencies and greater service reliability for the Midwest. It is one of several priority projects identified by the Southwest Power Pool Board of Directors and Members Committee in April 2010.
- Routing study
- Public involvement
- Alternatives analysis
- Agency coordination
- GIS analysis
- Environmental permitting
The project followed a three-phase approach: a study area, route network and final routing. Burns & McDonnell developed a project study area based on environmental and land use features in the project area. The team consulted with local, state and federal agencies. Our professionals then identified a network of alternative routes, organized public involvement activities and participated in three rounds of open house meetings for the public, affected landowners and community leaders. The project included meetings with advisory groups and local leaders. Our GIS staff prepared all maps and figures for use at agency, advisory group, local leader and open house meetings.
The primary issues associated with the project included: landowner/community involvement; multiple crossings of the Missouri River; coordination with two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts; federal, state and conservation lands; and airports/airstrips throughout the project area. Alternative routes were evaluated based on locally important environmental and social issues, as well as engineering criteria. Our team presented the rationale for the selection of the preferred route to KCP&L and OPPD and provided a detailed report of the compiled information, public involvement activities and alternatives analysis.
The public involvement component of the MTP included three rounds of public open houses:
- Round one included meetings in eight communities, publicized with local newspaper ads and press releases.
- Round two included meetings in six communities, with local newspaper ads, press releases, 5,214 individual letters to landowners within 1,000 feet of alternative routes and invitations to 179 local leaders.
- Round three included meetings in six communities, with 7,624 individual letters to all property owners within 1,000 feet of any alternative route and invitations to 187 local leaders.
Over the course of three rounds, 1,896 people attended the public open houses, and 1,475 questionnaires were returned via the project website and mail-in comments.