A second round of public meetings in late January will help plan a route for a proposed high-voltage power line through Southeast Nebraska and northwest Missouri.

The 345-kilovolt Midwest Transmission Project being built by Kansas City Power and Light and the Omaha Public Power District will connect Nebraska City to Sibley, Mo.

The line will be 150 to 190 miles long, cost about $400 million, provide 50 to 70 construction jobs and be in service by June 2017, sponsors said in a news release.

Five open houses are being planned in Missouri, and one is set for Auburn in Nebraska: 3-7 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Wellness Center of Nemaha County, 601 J St.

About 8,000 property owners who live within 1,000 feet of any potential new power line route will be notified of the meetings by mail. The public can drop by the open houses to learn about the project and speak with planners.

Utility officials say the line will relieve congestion, improve reliability of the nation’s energy grid and provide an additional gateway for renewable energy to reach customers in Missouri and Nebraska.

Since last summer, project planners have been reviewing potential routes through the 16-county study area -- including Nemaha, Otoe and Richardson counties in Nebraska -- and conferring with federal, state and local officials.

Two or three final routes will be announced in summer 2014.

More information, visit www.midwesttransmissionproject.com.

Questions and comments can be made at the website or by calling toll-free, 855-222-1291.

Reach Algis J. Laukaitis at 402-473-7243 or alaukaitis@journalstar.com.

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