Design Solution for 185′ Self-Support Tower Replacement

FDH was brought in to design a solution to replace a 185-foot self-supporting tower that was rusting and in such poor condition that it could not be reinforced. The challenges of this project consisted of the tower compound being located on an overgrown sloped area of a mountainside, the access road to the tower was in disrepair and had to be fixed first, construction equipment and tools had to be shipped from the U.S. and stored and moved onto the site without causing disruption to the surrounding environment, and a hurricane struck during the installation. FDH engineers designed a new tower that would not increase the geographic footprint within this environmentally sensitive area. The innovative solution consisted of installing the new tower within and around the old tower, and then deconstructing the old tower, so that there was no carrier interruption of service.

Innovative elements included:

  • Creating multiple 3D models to identify where interference points would occur with the main diagonal bracing during installation of the new tower.
  • For those points where interference would occur, design and develop brace jumps to secure existing tower while making cuts to install new bracing for new tower. The brace jumps would remain in place until the old tower was deconstructed.
  • Reinforcing the existing foundation by extending it slightly on two sides and pinning it with micropiles.
  • Installing the new tower in 20-foot sections.

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  • Location

    St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Year Completed


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