Published August 30th, 2008
After years of legal delays from community opposition, the consolidated tower facility on Lookout Mountain is finally constructed and broadcasting digital TV to metro Denver.
By Ken Freed
Correspondent, TV Technology
It took an act of congress, but the long-delayed consolidated DTV tower on Lookout Mountain at the western edge of metropolitan Denver is finally built and actively in use.
Overseeing the construction effort since December 2007 has been Don Perez, the retired chief engineer from KUSA. Passage of Senate Bill 4092 in December 2006, Perez said, gave the Lake Cedar Group consortium of local TV stations “a blank page to construct whatever we needed to construct on Lookout Mountain to deliver DTV to Denver, but we decided it was best to follow the ODP [original design plan] approved by Jefferson County before the federal act was passed.”
Sticking to the ODP, he said, meant embedding 80 percent of the new transmission building in the mountainside and anchoring the new 734-foot dielectric antenna tower 100 feet lower on the mountain than the base of the building, both actions to reduce visibility of the facility.
“Anchoring the tower into the cliff of solid rock was quite a feat,” Perez said. “The tower can withstand sustained winds of 110 MPH, not just occasional gusts. It’s really an engineering marvel.”
The ODP also called for burying the transmission lines in a tunnel between the building and the tower, doing this to avoid any possible winter icefall in high winds.
The final ODP promise will be kept in the summer of 2009 after the DTV transition, Perez said, which is removing the analog towers for the three stations from the mountaintop and fully restoring the native landscape.
As part of the process, he said, all the stations decided together about what would be common equipment bought by Lake Cedar Group, and what would be up to the stations to buy themselves, such as equipment for their separate rack rooms. (more…)