White-Spunner completes Gulf Shores airport tower

Tower will guide aircraft at Jack Edwards Airport on Gulf coast

Jack Edwards Airport tower.

The new Jack Edwards Airport tower in Gulf Shores officially opened today.

Mobile’s White-Spunner Construction partnered with Barge Design Solutions on the project for the Gulf Shores Airport Authority.

The 5,277-square-foot tower includes “seven levels built with two-toned precast concrete exterior panels with steel and concrete floor systems,” White-Spunner said in announcing the project completion. “There are architectural steel canopies on all four sides of the tower. The curtainwall window glass and glazing are designed to exceed hurricane and impact standards due to its proximity to the Gulf Coast. In addition, WSC oversaw the coordination of utilities, the asphalt drive and concrete sidewalks.”

Cost of the project: $4,269,191.

“The cab lift is the technical portion of the project that happened with ease, due to the immense planning and preparation by our team of builders at WSC,” said WSC VP Craig Blackburn. “Working at a very active airport along with the Gulf Coast weather and hurricane season brings its hurdles but planning and preparation was key to the project being a success and our team knocked it out of the park on this one. Great project along the Gulf Coast and proud to be a small part of the expansion of the airport.”

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White-Spunner notes these facts about the project:

  • Nearly 2 million pounds of concrete was used.
  • 120 steps were built.
  • Laminated glazing 1”-thick, weighing 500 pounds per pane or 8,000 pounds, were installed.
  • The 70-foot cab floor tower height was determined by careful study of the distance and angles to the furthest movement areas.
  • Controllers can see all movement areas on the airport.
  • Structure weighs over 2 million pounds (250,000 gallons of milk).
  • 500,000 pounds of concrete distribute the load to a compacted stone pier foundation.
  • Each of the precast wall panels are 1-foot thick (42,000 pounds-21 tons).
  • Over six miles of copper electrical and communications wiring were laid.
  • Aircraft can talk to the tower 30 miles out.
  • Federal funds through ALDOT were used for construction.
  • Over 100 Alabama companies had a part in the design and construction.
  • FAA provides and funds ATC staffing.
  • The communications system and technology are equivalent to the Pensacola tower.

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