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Posted on March 26, 2012

VIDEO: End of the Line for Electric Transmission Relics

By David Kligman

VALLEJO—For the past 90 years, six giant anchors stood near the Carquinez Strait — a reminder of what was once the world’s longest and highest voltage electrical transmission span.

The steel-frame structures at PG&E’s North Tower substation anchored transmission cables responsible for delivering the first hydroelectricity from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Bay Area.

In the late 1990s, the deteriorating span — the brainchild of PG&E founders Eugene de Sabla and John Martin — was removed and replaced with new towers. But the anchors remained — until earlier this month. One by one, a giant crane lifted each 8,000-pound anchor during a steady downpour.

Two of the anchors are being donated to Northwest Lineman College, which trains many of the electric linemen who work at PG&E. One of the anchors will be on display at the college’s campus in Oroville and the other will be transported to its Idaho campus.

Several anchors were relocated down the road so that they can be visible to visitors to the nearby Benicia State Recreation Area.

See a video below of the PG&E construction crew moving the giant anchors, as captured by Currents videographer James Green, and find out more about the historic relics.

E-mail David Kligman at

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