Bird diverters were hung Saturday on a recently installed power line from Thedford to just west of Halsey, thanks to a brave man and a skilled helicopter pilot.

The diverters put a finishing touch on a replacement section of a high voltage, 34.5 KV line that runs along Nebraska Highway 2 and the Middle Loup River.

More miles of the line will be replaced eventually, all the way from Seneca to Dunning, Custer Public Power General Manager Rick Nelson said. The entire 34 miles of line will be installed within another year, Nelson said.  

On the 15-mile stretch from Thedford to Halsey, the diverters hang from the top wire, a static wire that diverts lightning, Nelson said.

The diverters will decrease the opportunity for collision by birds coming and going on the Middle Loup. The diverters are shaped in a spiral – a curlicue –that wraps around the wire, Nelson said.

The installation was accomplished by Great Plains Power of Grand Island. Ferguson and Sons Construction of Emmett, Idaho provided the helicopter and pilot. 

Nelson said the installation-by-helicopter went well and the work was finished in a day and half — much more efficient than working from the ground with a bucket truck.  

“It was a positive experience all the way around,” he said.

Photos by Linda Cowdin (tap on images to enlarge)