Susquehanna-Roseland Project - PPL

Client: PPL Electric Utilities
Completion Date: 2015
Location: Pennsylvania


The Susquehanna-Roseland Project (SRP) is a 230-/500-kV transmission line build and upgrade that spans 147 miles from Berwick, Pennsylvania, to Roseland, New Jersey. In 2008, Burns & McDonnell was awarded the program management contract for PPL Electric Utilities' (PPL EU) $630 million portion of the project in Pennsylvania, which includes 70 miles of new and rebuilt 230-/500-kV overhead transmission lines through Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe counties, one new 500-/230-kV substation, and upgrades to seven existing 230-kV substations. The remaining 46 miles of the project also were awarded to Burns & McDonnell for program management by the New Jersey utility PSEG.

The SRP is needed to reduce overloading and alleviate congestion on the existing transmission grid in northeastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey, where dramatic shifts in population and demand have been straining the system for years. More than 90 percent of PPL EU's portion of SRP was routed in existing transmission corridors to rebuild aging infrastructure, save costs and minimize impacts to the community and environment. With an emphasis on local manufacturing, construction workforce and contracting services, PPL EU's SRP supports local economies throughout the region.


  • Program management
  • Project management
  • Substation engineering
  • Construction management
  • Safety management
  • Environmental compliance
  • Permitting
  • Community relations
  • Right-of-way
  • Project controls
  • Information management
  • Procurement


In Pennsylvania, the SRP extends from the substation at the Susquehanna nuclear generating station along expanded right-of-way and through rugged and rural countryside and scenic vacation communities. The line traverses multiple state-owned lands prior to crossing the Delaware River interconnects with PSEG's lines at the state boundary, which lies in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA).

The National Park Service preserves nearly 70,000 acres of land along the middle Delaware River for public recreational use including hiking, rafting and fishing. Approximately 4.3 miles of existing transmission infrastructure crossing DEWA was removed and rebuilt with capacity for a double-circuit 500-kV transmission line. Construction of this segment required an Environmental Impact Statement from the National Park Service, several mitigation requirements, environmental monitoring, avian protection systems and nearly three years of permitting. The favorable Record of Decision was received in October 2012, along with multiple construction permits, and construction was completed in February 2014.

Burns & McDonnell managed the SRP through siting, permitting, construction and restoration, successfully guiding the project through several regulatory challenges including:

  • National Park Service's Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (NPS DEWA)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    • Time-of-year restrictions for protected species and species of special concern
    • Mitigation sites
  • Three railroad crossings
  • Three Pennsylvania Game Commission State Game Lands
  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Delaware State Forest and Varden Conservation Area
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

To manage this volume of permitting data, Burns & McDonnell implemented a suite of technological solutions composed of its NoTouchPM™ automatic reporting using Primavera Contract Manager, Primavera P6, and its proprietary Google Earth-based project management system OneTouchPM®.

During construction, the SRP piloted a new method of conductor splicing using implosive charges, known as "implosive splicing." Burns & McDonnell relied on its experience in transmission line program management to help PPL EU develop the necessary engineering, communications and community outreach protocols to implement this new technology.

Additionally, the SRP required extensive coordination for transmission and distribution line outages, and interface with several parallel and interconnecting projects and utilities, including the PPL Susquehanna Steam Electric Station nuclear generation facility. The SRP was planned and constructed in a manner to preserve existing utility operations and minimize any impacts to PPL's customers.


Project scope:

  • 70 miles of triple conductor 230-/500-kV overhead transmission lines
  • One new 500-kV substation
  • Seven substation upgrades
    • One 500-kV substation
    • Six 230-kV substations

Project highlights:

  • On schedule for completion
  • Trending under budget
  • Energized Lackawanna Substation nearly 2 months ahead of schedule
  • Zero Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection violations
  • More than 450 landowners