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Published August 15, 2011, 08:48 AM

Helicopter to string lines along Interstate 94

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Utility crews will start using a helicopter this week to string wires on poles along a high-voltage transmission line from Monticello to St. Cloud.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — Utility crews will start using a helicopter this week to string wires on poles along a high-voltage transmission line from Monticello to St. Cloud.

Xcel Energy spokesman Tim Carlsgaard says the work is expected to begin Tuesday afternoon. He says motorists along Interstate 94 might notice the helicopter hovering near the 150-foot towers and workers perched on the towers.

They also might see sparks or smoke and hear loud booms a couple times a week as crews splice the wires using "implosive connectors," which use explosives to weld cables together. The company says the noise will be similar to a 12-gauge shotgun blast.

The work is part of the larger CapX2020 project. The St. Cloud Times reports (http://bit.ly/q44L0M ) that stringing the wires is expected to take until mid-October.

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