A Miami company is bringing an unusual high-wire act to Lawrence for an extensive fiber-optic cable installation.
Haverfield Corp. is expected to arrive early next week in Lawrence, where workers will use a helicopter to string the wire for Topeka-based Western Resources.
"It looks like they'll pretty much be working around the (Lawrence) power plant," said Steve Johnson, KPL general manager in Lawrence. "They'll be coming in from the west by the river, and then they'll be going back through Stull."
The work is part of a project to lay $22 million in cable -- the most extensive single deployment of fiber optics by a utility in the United States.
Western Resources, KPL's parent company, is replacing an existing 720-mile ground wire with fiber-optic cable. To install the new line, Johnson said, a Haverfield Corp. air crew attaches it to the existing line and pulls the existing line out.
Johnson said Western Resources would use the new cable for its internal operations. Currently, the company must lease fiber-optic lines.
"There are no plans to be using it in a competitive situation with another communication company," he said.
He said the crews would not be working in densely populated areas. The power plant is northwest of Lawrence.