***Update: Tower construction occurring May through September 2021***
BGE continuously invests in its infrastructure to ensure that all customers benefit from the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas. Since 2002, BGE has invested more than
$9 billion in system upgrades and expansions that include natural gas pipelines, utility poles, overhead power lines, underground cable systems, and other equipment. These projects are expected to lead to fewer outages and faster restoration when outages occur. They also have contributed to an approximately 20 percent improvement in system-wide reliability since 2010.
BGE continuously monitors its systems and equipment in order to continue providing safe and reliable electric and gas service to its customers throughout central Maryland. As infrastructure ages, BGE repairs or replaces the impacted equipment or system components to maintain system reliability.
BGE owns and operates electric transmission lines that are part of the regional transmission system that transports electricity into, out of, and through the BGE service area. Currently, one segment of BGE's transmission system, which crosses under the Patapsco River next to the Francis Scott Key (FSK) Bridge, is nearing the end of its useful life.
BGE's Key Crossing Reliability Initiative is a Transmission Line Project to replace two high voltage transmission circuits that extend beneath the Patapsco River on the Harbor side of the Francis Scott Key Bridge from Hawkins Point in Baltimore City and Sollers Point in Baltimore County. The existing line is nearing the end of its useful service life.
In 2013, BGE began evaluating the replacement of the Key Crossing segment with a new underground transmission cable system. The initial study reviewed the use of a variety of technology solutions including using new high-pressure fluid-filled (HPFF) cables, attaching cables to the bridge, jet plowing submarine cables, horizontal directional drilling (HDD), and construction of a dedicated tunnel. The study originally reviewed underground construction methods, but the magnitude of the probable environmental impacts associated with these methods led to the initiation of an overhead transmission replacement study. Learn more about BGE's environmental commitment.
The study determined two viable options: jet plowing submarine cables or constructing an overhead transmission line. After discussions with regulatory agencies, BGE selected the overhead project as the preferred option for the following reasons:
Environmental sensitivity: the overhead option's environmental impacts would be a fraction of those generated by jet plowing submarine cable through the river bottom
Cost savings: building underground cables would cost approximately twice as much as the overhead option
Economic impacts: installing overhead lines would have limited impacts on the Port of Baltimore operations compared to the underground option which would significantly impact port operations
Workforce development: the overhead option has the greatest potential for local and domestic job creation
New overhead lines will replace the Key Crossing underground segment and will connect with the existing overhead system. The Patapsco River is approximately 2 miles wide where the overhead lines will be placed.
From May through September 2021, BGE will construct eight transmission towers; five towers will be erected in the Patapsco River and equipped with water-level structures to provide protection from potential water-traffic collisions. The additional 3 towers will be land based with 1 on the Hawkins Point side of the river and 2 on the Sollers Point side. The work may require periodic lane closures on and approaching the southbound side (695 inner loop) of the Key Bridge.
Onsite construction began in May 2020 and will take approximately 24 months to complete. At this point, some work will remain, including the removal of the existing Hawkins Point and Sollers Point terminal stations.
BGE is required to obtain regulatory permits for this project which include a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Maryland Public Service Commission, a Permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and a Tidal Wetland License from the Maryland Board of Public Works.
BGE is dedicated to serving and keeping customers informed and has engaged with key stakeholders about this project for several years. The early engagement and continued dialogue have allowed BGE to incorporate feedback into the project's design that benefit both BGE and its customers. As the project continues, BGE will continue to share project information and ensure customers and stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback. Customers and stakeholders include:
Local and State Elected and Appointed Officials
Key community leaders and organizations to provide project information
BGE's Local Community Councils and focus groups
Business customers in and around the Patapsco River/Harbor area
Environmental Interest Groups
Chestnut Hill Cove Mitigation Virtual Informational Meeting - 10/28/2020
Key Crossing Hawkins Point View
Key Crossing Aerial View from Hawkins Point
Key Crossing Aerial View from Hawkins Point 2
Key Crossing Bridge Crossing View
Key Crossing Bridge Crossing View 2
Key Crossing Aerial View from Harbor
Key Crossing Harbor View
Key Crossing Fort McHenry View
Monopole at Ft. McHenry
Monopole at Sparrows Pt.
Monopole at Sparrows Pt. 2
Monopole at Ft Carroll
Monopole at Sollers Point 1
Monopole at Sollers Point 2
Monopole at Sollers Point 3
Monopole at Point Breeze
Monopole at Turner Station Historic District 1
Monopole at Turner Station Historic District 2
Monopole at Dundalk Historic District
If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact
Overview Fact Sheet