By Travis Gulbrandson
The erection of Vermillion’s new water tower is set to begin shortly after Christmas.
Water department superintendent Randy Isaacson said the work will unofficially begin Dec. 26, when six trucks hauling components of a single crane will arrive in town.
The actual tower will be set up the following day.
“When they go to put this together, it’s going to go together in pieces,” Isaacson said during a special meeting with the Vermillion City Council Monday. “They’ll have the crane in one day, they’ll take the column and they’ll put it on top of the base. The tank is going to be put up in separate sections. The bottom of the tank will go up on the cone, and then the top half of the tank will be set on that.
“I believe they plan on doing that all in one day,” he said.
The pieces of the water tower were made by Maguire Iron, Inc., in Sioux Falls.
Assistant city engineer Jason Anderson said the company will test the integrity of the welds next Thursday.
On Dec. 27, Anderson said, “They’ll pack it into place with four two-foot-long welds, and that’s how they’ll leave it until they get around to finishing the welds. We thought that was kind of interesting.”
Isaacson said the crane is being transported using six trucks so as to prevent damage to the streets.
“This (tower) is going to be about 150 feet up, so the crane is going to have to be a lot taller than that,” he said.
“It might be something to see when it’s going on,” Anderson said.
Most of the pieces of the new tower are already finished, Isaacson said.
The base is “pretty much completed,” with most of the welding finished, he said.
The column of the finished structure will have three or four different safety levels, he added.
“We’ll be able to climb through that and go through each one of the levels,” Isaacson said.
The bottom half of the tank is put together, but welding is still being done, he said.
Isaacson said that there is “a lot of welding” involved in the project.
“There’s welding to do on the inside also, and then they’ll have to coat the inside, paint it,” he said. “That’s going to be a process. There are some control things to do, and wiring things. There’s going to be lighting all the way up and down the column on the inside for climbing purposes. It’s more mechanical-type stuff.”
The tower won’t be in use until the coating is cured, after which point the paint will have to be tested for discontinuities, Anderson said.
The new tower will be up and in service before anything is done with the old one, Isaacson said.
“When that’s going to be, I don’t know,” he said. If they can get in there this spring and get the coating system done and all the wiring and controls are put in place and we get it in service, I think then we’ll start the process maybe next fall or spring.
“We don’t have a schedule yet for the old tank,” he said.
The project’s deadline for completion is Aug. 15, 2014.