New transmission line from La Salle to Utica raises concerns among residents

Ameren announces possible route eliminated due to concerns of residential displacement

Ameren is installing a new transmission line, raising two main concerns — residential displacements and environmental issues.

Residents attended the La Salle City Council meeting Monday to protest against a possible route of the line running through certain residential areas. During the presentation, Ameren announced it will eliminate that possible route, causing the main public concern to be resolved.

The representatives presented information on the La Salle Link Project, a project creating a transmission line from La Salle to Utica. The goal of the project is to improve local energy reliability, minimize outages, support expansion for growth and update older substations.

Ameren presented three possible routes for the transmission line, which is a large, electrical structure that carries power across long distances. They presented a blue, orange and purple route. The purple route is the option that raised the most concern for residents and was eliminated as an option.

The blue and orange routes run along the east and west sides of Rotary Park, another concern voiced by Mayor Jeff Grove and City Engineer Brian Brown. The representatives acknowledged their concerns and said the next step is to create an alternate route by finding pinch points between the orange and blue routes.

Ameren also eliminated Starved Rock from a potential route. It’s taken a wide range of sensitivities into account including railroads, pipelines, parks, among others.

The company held multiple open houses for residents to voice their concerns and have changed their plans to adhere to residents’ requests. The representatives said they value and take public input into account when making decisions about the route.

The rest of 2022 will be spent planning for the project. In 2023, engineering and permitting will begin, and in 2024 pre-construction and construction will take place. The line is expected to be finished by June 2025.