Man claims Altalink construction caused damage

Mountain View Gazette

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2014 06:00 am | BY Kevin Vink

Mountain View County resident Norman Fritzler says construction of the new Altalink transmission line in the district has caused damage to his home.

Workers have been joining transmission cables together with ground-level implosive connectors near the Fritzler residence.

Although his house is about 1,000 feet from the construction site, Fritzler says the vibration and sound has caused problems at his home, which is 12 kilometres northwest of Didsbury.

“It’s sound as well as vibration. We actually feel the vibration in both our house and shop,” said Fritzler.

Not only is it the noise and vibration – both buildings have also sustained palpable damage, he said.

The acrylic stucco of the house has stress cracks near the support systems of the residence, some plastic moulding has been cracked, and some stonework on the front veranda has also cracked, he said, noting he also suspects the house has shifted somewhat because besides the cracks, one door is now hard to open and close.

“You know that’s what it appears to be. There must have been enough vibration or shifting to cause some of these cracks, and until such time as there’s a study done on it, it will he hard to really determine if (that’s the case),” he said.

“We’ve had some drywall issues, nails popping (on the drywall in the basement), as well as in the shop,” he continued, adding that he has two tenants who rent out a room in his shop, and their ceiling drywall has split apart and is now drooping somewhat.”

Fritzler has brought out the contractor who installed the stucco four years ago, and he says the contractor told him the cracks are stress-related, due to shifting of some sort.

After receiving calls from Fritzler, Altalink sent a forensic expert to the property to examine the damage.

Peter Brodsky, manager of external communications for Altalink, confirmed that the company did receive calls from Fritzler and has send out an inspector to take a look at the damage.

“That gentleman, who is a specialist of ground vibration and air pressure changes is currently working up a report based on his visit. So we don’t have any results at this point. Until we have the results available we can’t make a statement,” said Brodsky.

The report is still being compiled and may not be finished for a number of weeks, he noted, adding that the company has not had any problems using the technology in the past.

“We’ve been using this technology for quite some time and this is the first time we have ever heard from a landowner regarding physical damage attributed to implosion work,” he said.

“I cannot speak specifically about any negotiations with Mr. Fritzler directly, but really what we’re going to do is wait until we have a report in hand (and) negotiate directly with him, but at this point no decision has been made about possible cause and remuneration.”

He added he respects that Fritzler has concerns and that the company is concerned as well, and will work with him to reach a resolution.