Bird flight diverters to be installed on Canso Causeway lines

HALIFAX, NS – Commuters on the Canso Causeway will notice some action in the air Friday (MAY 27) through Monday (MAY 30) as power crews work from a helicopter to install protective devices on the lines above the crossing.

Power line technicians will be installing devices called “bird flight diverters” on lines above the causeway. The diverters are proven to reduce incidents of birds flying into lines, particularly in areas where they circle over bodies of water to feed on fish. These diverters are relatively new technologies that have recently been used successfully at wire crossings over the Cornwallis River (Kings County) and West River (Antigonish County).

Two sets of overhead transmission lines cross the Strait of Canso at the causeway. The diverters will be installed on the two ground wires above the transmission lines. This means the crews can safely do the job without cutting electricity flow along the power lines.

Nova Scotia Power is working with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to minimize traffic disruptions during this work. The helicopter will be working above the causeway Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 5 AM and 9 AM both days. A traffic control company will be in place, stopping traffic for 20 minutes at a time; then the helicopter will fly off, and traffic will flow for 15 minutes at a time. If emergency vehicles need to cross the causeway, the helicopter will fly off immediately.

On Friday and Monday, diverters will be installed on overland sections of the transmission lines, and no traffic interruptions will be necessary.

About 350 diverters in total will be installed along the two lines. The work is being done by Emera Utility Services. Canadian Helicopters, of Halifax, will do the flying. The project is budgeted at $170,000.

In the event of a weather cancellation, the work will be moved to June 3 to 6, with morning traffic delays on June 4 and 5.