A project replacing outdated wooden poles with stronger steel towers should make power outages less frequent according to a FirstEnergy subsidiary.

American Transmission Systems has announced the completion of a 13-mile upgrade to a high-voltage transmission line in Carroll and Columbiana counties.

The first phase of a larger 64-mile transmission line project, the upgraded segment will enhance service reliability for customers in eastern Ohio, strengthen system resiliency and accommodate increasing demand for electricity in the future, according to FirstEnergy.

Approximately $39 million was invested to replace wood pole structures with new steel structures along the 13-mile segment and install larger wires that can carry more current and accommodate greater customer electricity demand.

The rebuilt section of 138-kilovolt transmission line spans the West Township area of Columbiana County and the August Township and Washington Township areas of Carroll County.

The segment was completed in late December and is the first in a series of projects that will rebuild 64 miles of transmission line over the next few years between substations in Columbiana and Belmont counties in Ohio.

Work is expected to begin this month on a nine-mile segment located in Perry Township in Carroll County and Rumley Township and Archer Township in Harrison County.

Since 2014, FirstEnergy has upgraded or replaced existing power lines, incorporated smart technology into the grid and upgraded dozens of substations with new equipment and enhanced security features. Through 2021, FirstEnergy has invested $9 billion in the Energizing the Future initiative.