Chopper stops traffic at Washington-Oregon border - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Chopper stops traffic at Washington-Oregon border

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Benton County, WA- Transportation workers held up traffic on Interstate 82 today while a helicopter carried a new power line across the Columbia River.

The Bonneville Power Administration today started to string the transmission line that will export wind energy made from wind turbines in the region.

BPA spokesman Doug Johnson says for the next two years workers will go from one steel tower to the next, stringing the line just like threading a needle.

"Over the Columbia River and Oregon, down the Columbia River about 79 miles, hits the John Day Dam area, and will eventually cross back over to Oregon and terminate there."

Federal stimulus money allowed the BPA to borrow $343 million, which Johnson says the BPA will pay back on time with interest.

When the line is energized in 2012, it will deliver nearly 600 megawatts of wind energy to homes and businesses throughout the West.