Tower request prompts structural analysis

NOAA seeks space on Keweenaw Co. equipment

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Keweenaw County Board Chairman Del Rajala recommended that a structural analysis of the cell tower at Mt. Horace Greeley be conducted before allowing more to be added onto it.

EAGLE RIVER — A request for space on the tower at Mt. Horace Greeley by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has prompted Keweenaw County officials to engage a contractor to conduct a structural analysis on the tower before permitting additions to the tower.

“There’s a tremendous load on there now,” Commissioner Del Rajala said, particularly after AT&T updated its equipment on the tower this past summer.

Commissioner Rob DeMarois said a partial analysis was conducted with AT&T but raised the question of how much weight and equipment can be added to the tower.

Rajala said when a customer seeking to place equipment on the tower to conduct a structural analysis, the customer will ensure the analysis results are in their favor. He said he made an inquiry to a company that works for the state of Michigan on similar projects and he is waiting for a response. As an independent contractor, the company would conduct an unbiased analysis to determine what percentage of space remains safely available on the tower. The cost of the analysis would be paid from the revenue that is collected from renting space on the tower.

Ice and wind add a tremendous burden to the structural integrity of the tower, Rajala said, that must also be taken into consideration.

“I think we should let NOAA know that that is our plan before we get a hold of them,” Commission Chairman Don Piche said. “It totally makes sense to get that checked out up there, because we don’t want that tower to fall down.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today