When record setting winds of over 100 mph swept through Colorado, one of the many casualties was the Colorado Central Telecom (CCT) tower high atop Mt. Princeton. Undeterred, the CCT team arrived at the site with the skills and equipment necessary to build a new one, reports the Ark Valley Voice. Though built to withstand winds of up to 150 mph, the hollow iron tower buckled.
“Superman doesn’t wear a cape. He wears a helmet and a climbing harness,” CCT Field Technician Supervisor Jesse Bowers told the Voice.
“I’m so impressed by the response from the entire ops team,” continued Bowers. “Sun up to sun down since [the site] failed, these guys have been on the case.” He added it’s been “even longer for those driving from Crestone everyday to work on the tower installation. And they’re going to keep doing that until [the site] is completely back.”
When the weather system blew through on January 14, early reports came in suggesting there was a power outage. Investigating the report, an AT&T employee called back to tell CCT, “I heard your message saying you have a power outage. You don’t. Your tower blew down.”
By a coincidence that CCT referred to as a miracle, SkyWest Communications had a replacement tower available. The new tower was on the way within hours, allowing the CCT team to clear away the ruined structure to make way for the new one.
“The challenges, the whole thing was insane,” Director of Operations Noah Abrams told the Voice. “We had to send two guys ahead in the snowcat just to clear the road. Then we proceeded to disassemble the new tower to get it on a trailer that fits a snowcat to get it up the mountain. Then we used an ATV with tracks on it to shuttle people and stuff up and down. We had seven guys up there working on the install. We disassembled the old tower to get it on a loader to get it down. That was hairy; we had to get chains from Denver to get the loader back down on the narrow road.”
“My team really busted it out,” said Abrams. “They worked nonstop, as much as we could. It was challenging, but our guys are well trained.”