Tucson International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower Construction Engineering

Tucson, AZ

Buehler was engaged by the General Contractor to provide construction engineering services for the new Air Traffic Control Tower at the Tucson International Airport. The most extensive of these services included assisting with the development of a plan to fabricate the over 100,000 pound, three-story steel cab structure on the ground so that it could be lifted nearly 200 feet in the air to be set on top of the concrete tower. Design for the lift plan had to account for loads imparted to the steel cab during erection in addition to the loading in its final configuration atop the tower.   

Quick Facts

  • Architect: AECOM
  • The lift height was so close to the maximum height of the crane, a portion of the tower steel frame was left off to allow the remaining portions of the frame to pass by the boom when it was at its maximum height
  • As part of the design, four lifting lugs were designed to serve as the connection points for the rigging cables. The lugs were fabricated out of 1” plate steel and each weighed approximately 73 pounds.
  • Contractor: Hensel Phelps
  • A 3D finite-element analysis model was generated to help determine where additional stiffening brace members were needed, how the loads moved through the structure as it was lifted, and what the forces in those members were

Photo credit: Buehler Engineering, Inc.