GULF SHORES, Alabama (WALA) – It was a big day Tuesday at the Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores.
Mobile-based general contractor White-Spunner Construction project construction and assembly teams oversaw the “cabin lift” that was placed on top of the airport’s new air traffic control tower.
According to the company, the cabin is 75% complete and weighs just under 90,000 pounds. It was hoisted to its position at the top of the tower by a 450 ton crane.
Jeff Carrico, COO and COO of the Tower Project, explained that it was a complex and dangerous task, but the extensive planning and development of the processes by the WSC team ensured a very smooth and orchestrated lifting of the control tower. “Our team included ten steel fitters, our project engineer, our safety manager and several crane operators to supervise and perform this very complex lifting,” he said in a press release.
Carrico said the cabin elevator placement was accomplished in under 20 minutes.
The construction tower itself, which is a very first project for WSC, is expected to be completed later this year.
The tower component consists of six floors constructed with two-tone precast concrete exterior panels with steel and concrete floor systems. There are architectural steel canopies on all four sides of the tower. The curtain wall glass and glazing is engineered to exceed hurricane and impact standards due to its proximity to the Gulf Coast.
The cabin also features an observation deck, walkway, and light beacons at the top of the tower that will illuminate it in all directions. The cabin room will extend the height of the building to 87 feet.
It will provide controllers with a 360-degree view of the airport.
The next phase of construction is focused on exterior and interior finishes, as well as electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. When complete, the cabin will house all of the instrumentation and communications equipment necessary to support a fully functioning and expanding commercial airport for years to come, according to White-Spunner.
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