Haywood EMC allocates over $1,000,000 per year on clearing and maintaining right-of-way on over 2,000 miles of overhead line. Currently, we have the system set up on an eight-year rotation. This means we cut approximately 1/8 of the system every year along with the construction required for new members.
The right-of-way width used on Haywood EMC's system is 20 feet on each side of the center of the power line for a total right-of-way width of 40 feet. This allows for access as necessary to repair and maintain lines while keeping most limbs and trees away from the line. Tree limbs that bump lines during high winds will cause blinks and outages when they contact the bare overhead line. Trees that are within the 40 foot right-of-way are also more susceptible to hitting the line if they should fall. Falling trees usually do more damage than just causing the lights to go out. A falling tree can break poles and take down lines, and this usually causes extended outages.