New television tower arrives in Doerun - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New television tower arrives in Doerun

February 26, 2007

Doerun -  More than 90,000 pounds of steel arrived in Doerun Monday for the construction of WALB-TV's new tower. Now, construction of the new one thousand foot, T-shaped tower will begin.

The new megatower will replace two towers that were brought down after a U.S. Army helicopter crash last June.

It looks like pieces to a large erector set. Tons of steel trucked in from Peoria, Illinois will eventually come together to form a television tower.

"We'll have to put it all together completely, we'll put all the horizontals on, the diagonals on, and the internal bracings, the ladders inside," said Ralph Brown of the Radian Company. 

Crews in Doerun have been busy preparing for this day. "The footings were put in, the concrete's drying, it should be dry by the time they get the steel all put together and then they can start maybe in three or four weeks erecting the tower," said WALB Chief Engineer Bill Williams.

Ralph and Philippa Brown, a husband and wife team, will assemble 20 to 30 foot sections of the tower, but not until each part is inventoried and thousands of bolts are put together.

"Anything we can do on the ground, saves time in the air," says Ralph.

The sections will be laid out on a form, in fact this is the first section of the tower where they can bolt them together and eventually they'll be stacked together and start to rise into the sky.

"We put this form work together so we can make the sections level in all directions, so it doesn't develop a twist when we put the tower up," said Brown.

The time consuming part will be assembling each section which can weigh up to seven thousand pounds.  "Stacking is a lot quicker than putting it together so they can have 150 foot of tower up in one day."

The Browns can build two to three sections a day, depending on the weather, and now what took less than a minute to come down June seventh could take four months to go up.

The new tower will be ten feet wider than WALB's old tower to accommodate the weight of four antennas. A digital and analog antenna for each station will be housed on the single structure.

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