Velco Southern Loop Project: Environmental Inspections, BMP Installations
In the spring of 2009, CEC-NH was contracted by Phillips and Jordan to provide environmental inspections and BMP installation services for Velco's Southern Loop Project. The project scope consisted of clearing an additional 100 feet of corridor (640 acres), building access roads and crane pads, then completing final restoration over the 52 miles of right of way corridor. A second contractor, Cimbro; provided line construction services, building 409, primarily H frame structures between Vernon and Cavendish VT.
CEC_NH provided an On Site Plan Coordinator, 2 environmental inspectors and up to 4 installation crews depending on work load and site activity. The OSPC and environmental inspectors worked closely with Velco's environmental staff to insure the project stayed in compliance. Duties included completing required SWPPP inspections and reports, reestablishing wetlands flagging and assisting Velco's staff with plan book amendments, spill reporting and clean up. Installation crews placed silt fence, hay bale dikes, filtersoxx, erosion control blankets, hay mulch and seed.
Work began in June of 2009 with land clearing operations, road building crews followed soon after with a variety of building techniques suited to the site conditions and anticipated use. By August, line construction had begun and crews worked through the winter months placing poles and framing structures. Clearing crews finished in late fall with road and pad building lasting through much of the winter. During the second summer crews finished wire pulling and completed punch lists, prior to final restoration beginning in August. The line was activated in mid-October and crews finished final restoration in time for the Thanksgiving break. Currently monthly inspections are underway through the winter months and we anticipate closing out the project in the spring as soon as vegetative growth is well established.
Linear projects present several challenges for an erosion and sediment control contractor. Accesses are limited and material and equipment is required to travel long distances at times to complete work. Proper planning and daily organization is critical to success. CEC-NH made several changes over the course of the project, adjusting equipment and man power as site conditions and workloads changed. Inspections take an inordinate amount of time, especially during winter months where daily inspections are required and crews were scattered throughout the line. 4 Wheelers with tires and chains in the summer and tracks during winter months were critical for inspectors to be able to access all parts of the line.