Thursday, August 7, 2014

Saying Good-Bye to The LORAN Tower

At 11:17pm on August 5, 2014 Cambridge Bay residents watch the LORAN tower fall.  It fell like a lovely lady, gently and slowly and we heard the metal twist and bend from the other side of the bay.  The LORAN (LOng RAnge Navigation) tower was built in 1947/48 and was a free standing lattice tower that rose above the tundra at 620 feet. It had 4 sides and the base was 59 feet per side.  It was a beacon for many hunters going out on the land as you could see if for many miles away.  If you got lost all you had to do was look for the tower and head home. 
NAV Canada found the tower to be structurally unsound.  I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of NAV employees who were in charge of the demolition (they came into my work to purchase some Arctic char).  They were pleased that it came down as planned and that no one was hurt during this process.  Gary, one of the NAV Canada guys said that he will be back soon to oversee the construction of the new tower, a mere 160 feet replacement.  They are planning to construct the new tower this year and have it up and ready to go before the snow falls. 
We headed across the bay to the fallen tower today after dinner to see it and of course to take some pictures.  It was amazing to see it laying on the ground and you feel kind of sad as it had been part of this community for a very long time.  Not only was it used for people to find their way home but also when foggy it was a guide to see if the planes would land.  If the fog was thick and the tower could not be seen then you knew that the planes were not coming in.  It felt strange heading to work this morning as I looked to the left getting in the truck and saw nothing across the bay.
Our last view of the LORAN tower just before it fell

You can see the workers cutting the metal

 Just after it fell
The following pictures are from today

Such a giant structure

Some bolts popped off from the pressure

We how have a Gateway Arch like St. Louis

The top of the tower with the damaged light boxes

Craig and myself at the top of the tower

Looking from the top to the bottom

So much twisted metal

Mt. Pelly in the background

Among the rubble we found 'Lite 4' box totally intact

Not even a bulb broke - amazing when you see all of the metal surrounding it

It kind of looked like a roller coaster

It was shocking to see some of the thick metal bent

The base of the tower

The base close up

Thank you for the many years you provided the residents a safe journey back home.
Talk soon!

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