WATCH: Drone video shows birds-eye view of new water tower

(ABC 6 News) – Crews are putting the final pieces in place on Albert Lea’s new water tower.

The new tower at the corner of Newton Avenue and Fountain Street is a $7M project. The tower replaces the old tower that was built in 1938. It’ll hold one million gallons of water and stands 18 stories, nearly 45 feet higher than the original structure.

Building a structure like this takes extensive planning and precision. It also requires a lot of building materials and supplies. It all started with the foundation. The tower will weigh a total of 9.24 million pounds or 4,620 tons when filled with water. Crews placed 53 steel pipes anywhere from 84 to 96 feet into the ground. Each pipe (pile) was then filled with concrete. The individual piles are strong enough to support 200 tons of weight each.

The base ring required 11 tons of steel reinforcing-bar and 200 tons of concrete. An addition 20 yards of concrete was used on the floor.  More than 400 pieces of steel will make up the tower with a weight of more than 851,000 pounds or 425.7 tons.

Crews have used multiple cranes for the project, including a remote-control crane on top of the tower.

Once fabrication of the tower is complete crews will apply five coats of paint inside and out. They’ll construct a control center inside the tower and the final step will be connecting the tower to the city’s water supply. Weather permitting, the city plans to have the new water tower operational by next summer.

The tower is designed by Blton & Menk Engineering. Phoenix Fabricators is building the tower.

Click here for drone video of the tower’s construction.