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MidSouth EC News

Meet MidSouth: Right-of-Way Maintenance

Dedicated crews help keep the lights on

For MidSouth Electric Cooperative, keeping the lights on for our membership remains a top priority. To preserve the integrity of the electric grid, preventive measures must be taken to ensure the flow of electricity is not interrupted. MidSouth EC’s right-of-way maintenance team is dedicated to protecting the cooperative’s many miles of electric lines through routine tree trimming and maintenance.

Senior right-of-way coordinators Blake Burzynski and Jeff Pasket work together to coordinate six crews responsible for the upkeep of trees and foliage along several thousand miles of line. In a typical year, each crew will cover approximately 700 miles of rights-of-way, making certain brush growth is trimmed along adjacent fences and tree branches are cut back clear of electric lines.

Depending on foliage growth rates, serviced areas are trimmed on a three to six-year rotation. In addition to regularly scheduled right-of-way maintenance, crews are dispatched in response to member reports of hazardous overgrowth. Collectively, crews can remove up to 200 dead trees in a week.

Workers use a large mechanical tree trimmer to reach branches near power lines.

Right-of-way team members use a chipper to break down large branches.

Operating heavy equipment around live power lines is a high-risk job where safety is of the utmost importance. Burzynski and Pasket constantly patrol areas where crews work to ensure all industry safety standards—as well as MidSouth EC’s additional standards—are in practice. From checking personal protective equipment to inspecting machinery, MidSouth EC right-of-way maintenance coordinators and crews work diligently to keep risks to a minimum.

The next time you see bucket trucks and saws being used near MidSouth EC lines, remember it’s your right-of-way maintenance team combating potential damage and outages.