NewsPinellas County


Duke Energy Trail will be closed for line work using a helicopter

Posted at 8:26 PM, Oct 02, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If you were driving down Gulf To Bay Boulevard, eating Chick-fil-A or shopping at Home Depot, you probably noticed a helicopter flying around with a man hanging on to the side.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Keith Newman.

The man is one of Duke Energy's linemen. He was out there putting bird diverters on the power lines.

"If you are a bird and you're flying the line is so small that you can't see it," said Ana Gibbs, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

The diverters are yellow, They make it easier for birds to see the line, and know to stay away.

Gibbs says this stops the birds from getting electrocuted, "which also prevents power outages."

The man hanging out of the chopper is harnessed in, and the top line is not energized.

"That's important because of the type of work that we're doing on it," Gibbs said. "We have all types of safety measures that we use when we do this kind of work."

The Duke Energy Trail will be closed from Druid down to Enterprise Road so non-employees don't get close to the worksite. There are also bucket trucks staged along the trail just in case one of the power lines fall.

"This is a much faster process of installation than doing it from the ground," said Gibbs.

Duke Energy workers will be back out on the Trail Thursday and Friday, which means the trail will be closed again.