Major Wireless Carrier

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Major Wireless Carrier
Client: Major Wireless Carrier
Project: Tower Lighting Upgrade
Location: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Wisconsin
Relationship:Since  2007

Despite winter storms and a narrow three-week deadline, Black & Veatch completes a major telecommunications tower lighting project across a four-state region.

Three blizzards and two ice storms later, the project was completed.

A wireless carrier needed to upgrade the lighting on 50 200-foot towers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Wisconsin. The towers featured older strobe lighting and used a mix of 10 different technologies. The changeover from strobes to light-emitting diode (LED) systems would save money over time, standardize inventory and streamline network technology.

The project kicked off in late November, but funding was available only through mid-December. The telecom carrier and Black & Veatch faced a daunting budget deadline and winter weather window.

Further, before Black & Veatch field crews could dismantle a tower’s lighting, the project manager had to secure a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) from the Federal Aviation Administration. This documentation would alert airports and pilots of the tower’s temporary outage. A NOTAM expires after only 15 days.

Upgrading a tower’s lighting system involves interior and exterior work, and it typically takes five to 12 hours to complete. A crew climbs the tower, dismantles the old lights and installs the new ones. The team installs the controller panel, and monitors and tests these components to make sure the lights work.

The Black & Veatch team consisted of two construction managers and six three-person field crews. They trained with the LED lighting system manufacturer. They learned the product inside out in order to complete the upgrade quickly and safely. On clear days they did the tower work, and on bad-weather days, they worked inside. They took down three or four sites at once to manage the work around the weather.

Three blizzards and two major ice storms later, the project was completed – on time and on budget. The carrier was seeing wireless in a new light.