Still time to comment on Ameren plans to build a transmission line

Several routes proposed to connect Oglesby, Utica substations

Want to know if Ameren’s proposed transmission line will come near your neighborhood, school or church? There’s still time to check the maps and give Ameren your two cents.

Ameren is collecting feedback through the end of the month on its “La Salle Link Project.” The utility wants to construct a 138 kilovolt transmission line linking an Oglesby substation to one near Utica. The additional line would reduce blackouts and make it faster for utility workers to restore power.

Ameren has three routes in mind — maps are on display at the Auditorium Ballroom in La Salle — and there is a limited window for concerned citizens to submit comment before Ameren moves to the next phase of the years-long project.

Those who can’t make it the La Salle ballroom can see the maps at, which has interactive features and links to comment.

“We actually began online comments earlier this week and we’ll have that up and open around the end of the month,” said Leah Dettmers, manager of stakeholder relations. She added later, “And we really need that feedback and input because without that from the community, we don’t have the parameters set.”

While construction won’t begin until 2024 and the transmission line won’t be up and running until 2025, Ameren will submit information, including public comment, to the Illinois Commerce Commission in the fourth quarter.

The proposed routes largely track existing right-of-way such as on Interstates 80 and 39 and/or U.S. 6. Transmission lines will be connected with steel towers 80 to 120 feet high and built atop easements of 100 feet in width.

La Salle Mayor Jeff Grove said Tuesday he still is collecting feedback from constituents but so far leans away from the “Purple Route” that largely tracks U.S. 6 and from the “Blue Route” that traverses Rotary Park.

“Of the three proposed routes, I would prefer the Orange Route,” Grove said. “In my opinion, it is the least disruptive to potential growth along the U.S. 6 corridor and stays out of Rotary Park.”

Utica Mayor David Stewart said he and village officials also prefer the Orange route “because it parallels the existing lines so it is an efficient use of land for both La Salle and Utica.

“We would object to the Blue Route as it cuts through some of our industrial park land that we are trying to keep large parcels together,” Stewart said. “The Village would also object to the Purple Route because it is unsightly along U.S. 6.”