Air saw to trim trees along Dickinson-Marquette power line

MARQUETTE – Beginning Monday, crews will be using a helicopter and heavy-duty air saw to trim trees along a power line in parts of Dickinson and Marquette counties.

American Transmission Co. has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc. to manage vegetation growth along its transmission line corridors. Trees will be trimmed along a 138,000-volt transmission line from the Iron Mountain area in Dickinson County to the Perch Lake Substation near Republic in Marquette County.

The helicopters are equipped with heavy-duty air saws with rotary blades suspended on a 90-foot vertical boom. ATC officials said the helicopter and saw will begin clearing in the Norway area Monday and work north and west to Perch Lake over the next two weeks. The work is dependent on good weather, so the schedule is subject to change.

“An aerial saw can trim in one hour as much as can be completed by conventional ground crews in one or more days,” said Janssen Baij, senior asset maintenance engineer.

ATC officials said managing the growth of trees and other vegetation is important to help ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,480 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is