An unsafe 1,541-foot Texas TV broadcast tower is decommissioned with a picture-perfect landing

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

La Fiera TV broadcast tower found unsafe and is demollished

According to FCC records, the broadcast tower is 1,541 feet tall. Although Nexstar states it is only 1,337 feet, a failure could directly hit nearby homes. Nexstar hired a demolition crew, and this morning, they felled the structure with no tower sections reaching any further than a 450-foot radius.

On Wednesday, Nexstar Media Group Inc. discovered that a 1,541-foot guyed tower in La Feria, Texas, was unsafe because one of its guy wires had detached. Instead of retrofitting it with a new outer anchor wire, the company decided to decommission the hazardous structure, asking nearby residents to evacuate the area.

Tower demolition crew decommissions tall broadcast toer in La Feria, Texas

The sweet spot for a perfect landing was in a 450-foot radius, and the demolition contractor found it was more than adequate when he felled the tower this morning.

The broadcaster’s structural engineers then initiated a plan for an unidentified Louisiana company to decommission the structure, which had been built in 1987 and modified in 2010, according to its FCC registration

At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the surrounding area was cordoned off, and according to a grainy video of the collapse, explosive charges appeared to have been set off. The charges collapsed the structure in an almost triangular pattern at the tower’s base without damaging the adjacent transmitter building.

Although Nexstar said the structure’s height is 1,337 feet, at variance with the FCC’s height, yesterday, there was a concern that it could fall onto neighboring homes.

According to a statement they issued, Nexstar said the tower was designed to collapse in a downward spiral limited to a 450-foot radius of the center. However, that is more of a theoretical approach to guyed tower failures, and it’s not likely that design drawings will indicate its fall area.

However, the demolition contractor designed the failure to fall within 450 feet, and it did so with what appears to be an even smaller footprint.

Every year, contractors cut the guy wires to decommission many guyed towers. They can almost thread the structure through a needle of trees or other obstacles if necessary.

However, in 2006, what appeared to be a newly written textbook example of how to demolish a 1,000-foot-tall broadcast tower that had interlaced guy wires with another 1,000-foot tower less than 150 feet away turned into a catastrophe when both towers collapsed during the demolition. The exclusive Wireless Estimator reporting can be viewed here.