August 29, 2012
New sign marks Marquis Corridor transmission line
By LOU PENDLETON
Twenty years ago, the city switched from Toledo Edison to Ohio Power (now American Electric Power) as Bryans power supplier. As a result, electric rates in Bryan were reduced by an average of 23 percent.
The move was made possible by a decision by the Bryan Board of Public Affairs in 1980 to purchase 10½ miles of the old Cincinnati Northern Railroad right-of-way and construct a 138,000-volt transmission line to connect with Ohio Power near Sherwood.
The move was both exciting and risky, said Lauren Bechtol, BPA chairman in 1982. Once we gave notice to Toledo Edison to end our contract, we were committed to having the line built and operating before the contract ran out. A lot of things came together. We had a little luck, including the railway being for sale, and wonderful teamwork by our employees. We made the switch in May 1982.
The transmission line was named Marquis Corridor in honor of John Marquis Sr., chairman of the Board of Public Affairs in 1981. Also serving on the BPA at the time along with Marquis and Bechtol was Edward Kinney.
The Marquis Corridor still serves as the main transmission line to supply Bryan with power. This month, Bryan Municipal Utilities installed a new sign marking the Marquis Corridor. Mrs. John Marquis Sr. and son John Marquis Jr. joined current BPA Chairman Mary Burns to remember this bit of Bryan history.
The Marquis Corridor sign is located on the south side of County Road C between County Roads 15 and 16 at the point where the transmission line connects to Bryans electrical grid.
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