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Update on Progress of the Garden Valley Cell Tower

Mercury Cell Tower site being worked on in Garden Valley. Photo by Janet Juroch

The Mercury Cell Tower facility located in Garden Valley has been a month-long project to finally get to the foundation phase.  Assembling the actual tower may be started by this week. Rainfall recently caused some early construction delays. This included the enormous task of building the road to the tower facility from Banks Lowman Road. The road became too soft for construction trucks to travel on.

This past week they were finally able to pour a concrete slab with a high density concrete mixture with a network of rebar in it.  Bolts were also set for the structure to be bolted down.  Also, wires for lightning protection were set in and around the base for grounding the tower.  The concrete base that is over two feet think and about the size of medium sized bedroom is cured and has been buried.  Gravel has been put over the foundation.

Once the tower is placed, it has no chance of falling over or being blown down.  The facility building specifications make the base withstand high winds of over 90 miles an hour 3 second gust. This conforms to the international building codes.

The part that may take longer is getting the fiber optics and power to operate the facility.  This phase of the construction can take time, especially if there are major weather changes.  The easement of the road must be recorded with the county and then a trench will need to be dug out to allow for power lines and fiber optic installation.  The hard-freezing depth of the ground can determine if the trench digging for the power can be accomplished in time.

There could be a delay of a working tower until spring. The contractor of Tower Engineering Professionals said there are different ways to manage power to the facility and make it operational quickly, but those choices are not as good.

The weather being dry at this time of year allowed for more road work and rocking places that were soft. This allowed for the trucks to bring the concrete in. Now everyone will be watch for changes in the weather pattern. Plans to get the tower in place this week will be a big step.  The rest of the work for power may just take a bit longer.

Written by Janet Juroch