A power line construction company hired by AltaLink to work on the controversial $1.5 billion Western Alberta Transmission line has set up shop in town.
Edmonton’s RS Line Contracting will bring up to 200 employees to Rimbey and plan to hire more, said owner Mark Forbes.
AltaLink spokesperson Peter Brodsky said a portion of the route, which runs north-south approximately 350 kilometres west of Edmonton to an area just east of Calgary, in the Langdon area, will be located about 18 kilometres west of Rimbey.
Surveying and staking, brushing and clearing is now being done to prepare for the transmission line. He said once the towers are assembled, helicopters will be brought in, the towers loaded in one piece, and dropped into position.
“It’s quite impressive to watch,” he said.
Forbes, said his company decided to put an office into Rimbey as it was central to the work being done for AltaLink.
“We have been here for two weeks now and will use Rimbey as a base,” he said. “We have begun work on the assembly and foundations.”
Half of the 200 workers employed by RS Line for the project are working in the area now and staying in local hotels and motels.
“It is a boon to the economy and will definitely increase business there,” he said.
“We have half or more working now. We also plan on hiring more local people — laborers, operators, assemblers and linemen.”
Anyone who is looking for work should stop by the Rimbey office or go on line at www.rsline.ca, he said.
In the summer of 2012, the Alberta Utilities Commission held a public hearing in Red Deer to consider AltaLink’s application to construct and operate the Western Alberta Transmission Line.
On Dec. 6 of last year the AUC approved the majority of the preferred route submitted by AltaLink.