Georgia TV tower found not to be salvageable,
demolition by explosives plan being readied
June 3, 2006 - A Doerun, GA 1,000-foot-tall broadcast tower that was severely damaged on Thursday morning after a MH-47E Chinook helicopter crashed into it is not salvageable, experts say.
According to R. David Stiles, president of ProCom Towers International, Inc. of Chattanooga, TN, it has been determined that the structure is too heavily damaged to safely stabilize the tower and it will be demolished in a controlled demolition using explosives.
Stiles said that helicopter companies have refused to assist in removing WFXL's 6,800-pound antenna until the tower was stabilized. However, he said that tower riggers could not install a replacement guy wire for one that was sheared off following the crash without risking their lives as well.
To ensure that the tower does not collapse and topple a sister structure approximately 100 feet away, Controlled Demolition, Inc. of Phoenix, MD has been hired to collapse the tower using precision explosive methods.
CDI president Mark Loizeaux is meeting with Stiles today to engineer the controlled removal. A date has not been set for the dismantling.
Recognized as the world's deans of demolition, CDI's renowned team of experts have been featured on National Geographic Channel and The Learning Channel specials.
Most of the country's major controlled demolitions have been performed by CDI such as the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma and Florida's Sunshine Skyway Bridge as well as the Seattle Kingdome in Seattle, Washington.
Dating back to the 1960's, CDI has extensive expertise in using explosive methods for demolishing communications towers.
In 1995, CDI felled the US Navy's Southern Pacific antenna array at the Chollas Heights Facility near San Diego. After a helicopter effort to remove portions of one tower failed, the remaining three towers were demolished quickly and safely by CDI. One of the towers was as close as 100 feet to occupied private homes which had been built around the US Navy communications reservation.
When the world-wide Omega Navigation System, built in the 1970's to aid maritime navigation, became obsolete, CDI was hired to demolish a 1,202' guyed tower in Argentina without damaging an equipment building 25' away from the base of the tower.
The structure was successfully felled in an almost vertical collapse of steel without damage to the building. CDI said that a subsequent analysis of the structural release sequence of the guys had yielded predictable data which CDI will use in the Georgia tower demolition.
The WFXL demolition will present a unique challenge for CDI because of the equipment buildings at the base of both structures. In addition, the tower's guy wires are interlaced with the WALB TV tower on one guy anchor path with eight guy levels.
Non-electric blasting systems have been used by CDI to avoid accidental initiation of electric blasting caps due to induced current generated by high-powered communication facilities. Loizeaux will identify if this will be necessary on this demolition due to WALB's broadcast antenna's proximity to the WFXL tower.