ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Residents in some south St. Louis County neighborhoods have spotted a helicopter flying around Ameren power lines over the past few weeks.

Ameren is working on a new 294-foot-tall transmission tower, which is just 11 feet shy of the Statue of Liberty. The helicopter is helping crews string a transmission line across the Mississippi River.

“The helicopter allows us to get the crews and the equipment up there much more safely than having to climb that tower,” said construction supervisor Adam McAllister.

The project entails ten miles of 138,000-kilovolt transmission lines throughout Lemay, McKenzie, and Watson neighborhoods — along the River Des Peres and throughout St. Louis City and County.

The Lemay substation is the starting point for the 2,700-foot transmission line, eventually ending in Dupo, Illinois.  

Ameren has been working on this project for four years for the retirement of the old towers and introduction of the new towers and line, to provide more reliability for some 100,000 customers. 

“Our infrastructure in this area was constructed back in the 1950s. Just like your highways, roads, and bridges, we need to maintain our structures as well,” said Suzanne Pohlman, Ameren transmission project manager. “So hopefully they’ll be around for the customers for another 70 years.”