Utilities appeal ruling blocking line’s refuge crossing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Developers of $492 million transmission line are appealing a federal judge’s ruling that blocks the project’s crossing through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge.

American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest, and Dairyland Power Cooperative are building the 345-kilovolt transmission line which would run more than 100 miles from Dane County to Dubuque County, Iowa.

The Driftless Area Land Conservancy and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation have mounted a number of legal challenges to the project in state and federal court.

In a ruling earlier this year, a federal judge sided with the conservation groups that sued the agencies that issued approvals for the line.