Client Xcel Energy
Location Buffalo County, Wisconsin
Scope 40-mile, 345 kV line with complicated title and terrain issues.

Buffalo County CapX2020 Line

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • Surveying
  • Staking for Tree clearing

Overview

Westwood was hired by Xcel Energy to provide surveying services for the Buffalo County portion of the CapX2020 power line. The 40-mile section involved very complicated title and deed work. In addition, the terrain along the Mississippi River bluffs is extreme, with precipitous elevation changes and deep brush and woods, making survey work difficult and potentially hazardous.

Piecing Together the Records

While 40 miles is a relatively short distance to survey compared to the total length of the CapX2020 project, the Buffalo County portion was a challenge. Westwood worked closely with the title company to piece together the necessary information to move the project along. Considerable effort was required to navigate the existing filing system; legal descriptions were vague, ambiguous, and inconsistent with each other. Additionally, there was no electronic or GIS parcel data for the sections. Westwood diligently reviewed the county history of deed and easement records to first identify, and then map, each document to any parcel that was part of the project. The team worked through this arduous process to ensure parcels were legally free and clear, and to prevent legal problems from cropping up later.

Assuring Safety

In addition to the difficulties related to deeds and title, field surveying also presented many challenges.  Much of the project is located along the Mississippi River bluffs.  Westwood field surveyors faced heavily wooded steep slopes, undulating terrain, and many areas with limited access.  Additionally, extreme weather conditions added to the survey difficulties.  In order to safely and efficiently complete the field surveying activities, Westwood developed a detailed plan of attack and implemented our corporate safety plan.  As a result, the project was completed on time and with no injuries.

The client was up-front about the difficulties of the work and clearly communicated this to Westwood. Westwood was hired because the client was confident the project would be handled correctly and stay on track. The client was extremely satisfied with the service Westwood provided and awarded additional surveying tasks as a result.