White Papers

Using ACCR to Save Tall Towers, Tall Sail Boats, and Great Blue Herons

By Scott Walton, P.E., Lower Colorado River Authority and Erik Ruggeri, P.E., POWER Engineers


This paper discusses how the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) utilized an ACCR conductor from 3M to upgrade a transmission line, spanning Lake-Travis, without requiring structure replacements. The ACCR conductor was used over the three span lake crossing section with spans of 2293’, 3161’, and 1538’. Lake Travis is a flood control reservoir on the Colorado River just a short distance West of Austin. The reservoir is a popular destination for recreational use. Design constraints included federally protected birds, accommodations for tall sailboats, high flood waters, and more.

This section contains both the longest span in the system (3161’) and the fourth-longest span in the system 
(2293’). The main span crossing Lake Travis is supported by two 233’ tall lattice towers. Coincidentally, 
Lake Travis and this line are located just minutes down the road from the global headquarters for 3M’s 
Energy Business Group.

This paper was presented at the 2016 Transmission and Substation Design and Operation Symposium.

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