Saving Tower 17

The Disassembly - Day 1

April 26, 2004

Tower 17 had to be separated into several pieces prior to the move.  This process took the better part of a week.  Project Leader Jim Vollmar described the action each day and provided some photos.  Below is an excerpt of his first report:

Well..It’s started!!

Day 1 of the Tower 17 move was a success.  The movers finally showed up around 11:30 am to start work.  They had to load all of their equipment and supplies needed to support and jack the building up, so they didn’t arrive on site till later in the morning.  This is a very hard working group with a lot of move experience, so I’m feeling better about it.  We spent time covering safety rules that Union Pacific want us to follow while on their property.  Liability waivers were signed by everyone on site.  Also went to the museum to see where the final resting place will be.  We also traveled the move route and reviewed all locations were wires cross the road, for clearance. 

Most of the afternoon was spent on extracting the old relay cabinet from the first floor of the tower.  For those of you who have never see this cabinet, it is made of steel and is about 7 feet tall, 10 feet long and weighs approx. 800 pounds.  It was removed and placed on the West side of the museum porch.  Be careful around this cabinet as it is not secured to anything at this time.  Thank God we had a wench truck to lift this thing!!  Thanks also to Al Goolsby for purchasing 2 movers dollies which were used to move the cabinet.

With that thing out of the way, work should really move forward.  Start time on Tuesday is scheduled for 9:00 am and will continue till 6:00 pm .  Right now, the move date looks like Friday but will keep everyone posted.  Work on Tuesday will be focused on erecting the wood supports used for the building jacks and steel beams which will carry the second floor to the museum.  Once they are in place, the first floor walls will be cut away and transported to the museum where they will have some structural rework on the main load bearing members of the build.  Once they are reworked, the walls will be re-assembled onto the foundation and made ready for the second floor portion to be set on top.

The day concluded with a visit from Glenn Jackson of Union Pacific Railroad.  He is the signal maintainer for the interlocker.  Apparently, there was a short circuit in the wiring for the interlocker track circuit.  When he saw us there, of course we were the first suspects, even though we stayed clear of all of their wiring.  Further inspection identified a cut wire on the track caused by the installation during the wiring of the new metal tower building.  This wire was repaired and the circuit tested 2 times and returned to service.  Glenn was real nice about the whole thing and is really happy to see that we are saving the building.  He has many FOND memories of late night maintenance calls to go and repair things at Tower 17.

That’s all for now.  I will keep everyone posted on the progress.

           Click HERE to continue on to the next page.