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National Grid are starting work to remove 37 kilometres of existing pylons owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD) between Bridgwater and Sandford.

They are carrying out the work in stages between October 2021 and summer 2022. First, they will remove the wires that run between the pylons. Where the wires cross over roads, they will erect scaffolding and use controlled lifting systems to lower and recover the wires. After they have done that, they will remove the pylons, then the foundations, and finally reinstate the land.

Taking down pylons is a much smaller piece of work than erecting new ones, involving fewer vehicles over a much shorter length of time. Their contractor Balfour Beatty will use the most appropriate traffic routes and accesses to reach and remove each of the pylons along the route. The vehicles used for this work will display identity signs so they can be easily recognised as working to remove the pylons.

The removal of these pylons is part of the 67 kilometres of overhead line that will have been removed by the time the project is completed in 2025.

Last autumn, our contractor Balfour Beatty, started erecting the world’s first T-pylon structures across the southern section of the Hinkley Connection Project route between Bridgwater substation and Loxton. The team has begun hanging the wires on the new T-pylons north of Woolavington and are progressing in sequence along the new connection route. We expect to finish building the new T-pylons and the wiring work south of Sandford substation by spring 2022.

Work to build the northern section of the overhead connection route, featuring T-pylons, between Sandford and Seabank substations is also underway and progressing well. They started piling for building the foundations of the new pylons in September 2021. The piling which involves driving concrete and steel piles into the ground takes approximately one week at each site.   

They expect to complete removing the 37 kilometres of existing 132,000 volt pylons between Bridgwater and Sandford by summer 2022 – leaving part of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) pylon-free for the first time since the 1960s. 

 Where the overhead wires cross over roads, they use scaffolding and controlled systems to hang wires on the new T-pylons and remove wires from the WPD pylons. To keep everyone safe during work on the highways, they need to use temporary traffic lights or close some roads for a short time. 

As they work towards construction milestones, they continue to work to reduce the local impact on the communities they are working alongside as much as they can.