KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WAVY) — Ospreys nesting alongside the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge over the Currituck Sound will return this spring to new, high-rise luxury nesting platforms.
Dominion Energy North Carolina installed the new platforms on Tuesday to ensure the ospreys have a safe, durable home and that electric service to the Outer Banks is not disrupted by their nesting activities.
The ospreys have been nesting on wooden platforms fixed to transmission towers Dominion Energy abandoned over 30 years ago. Originally, there were 12 nesting platforms but the weather elements have taken their toll and only three remained.
The energy company’s transmission group used a helicopter to remove the few remaining wooden platforms and installed larger, stronger, more durable aluminum alloy platforms over every pole.
“This is really about safety and reliable service,” said Carter Clevinger, project manager-Electric Transmission Reliability in a press release. “Safety for the osprey because if they build on our energized transmission towers, they run the risk of electrocution; and safety and reliability for our customers by preventing massive power outages on the Outer Banks that could occur if nesting materials contact our lines.”
Photos: Dominion NC Installs Osprey Platforms
The helicopters approached the transmission towers towing two workers on a 75-foot tether. The helicopter then lowered them onto the tower where they attached the new nesting platform.
The platforms made by Preformed Line Products weigh 34 pounds and are three-foot square. The transmission group successfully tested the aluminum platforms on a pair of osprey nesting on a transmission support pole near Clarksville last spring and now use them exclusively.