Wissehr Electrical Contractors


Mid-America Airport


Imagine an air traffic control tower measuring 220 ft. high, 50 ft. by 50 ft. square, located in a flood plain. Now imagine that it’s your job to electrify that structure while other contractors vie for space and time to complete their work. It’s crowded, confusing and complex. But it’s not impossible.

Wissehr was the electrical contractor for the Mascoutah, Illinois, Mid-America Airport tower and its support building, which houses essential equipment such as pumps, chillers and generators. Specialty systems for the tower include a 350 KW generator with its own test load bank, bypass isolation switch and a Class A fire alarm. The tower also has elevator recall and a dry pipe sprinkler system, smoke controls, stairwell pressurization fans and firemen’s phone system.

Per specification, all the conduits in the tower are galvanized rigid steel. Every time the tower rose 12 feet, Wissehr had to bend, thread and install the rigid conduits into the new section. The elaborate process took expert and detailed planning.

Water Water Everywhere

Mother Nature also got in the game. Silver Creek, which snakes around the tower on three sides, flooded its banks and filled holes with water almost as quickly as Wissehr dug them. Tom Wissehr, president, says: “We spent extra time and effort pumping water. But because we performed our own civil tasks such as excavating, shoring, compacting and backfilling for 40,000 feet of concrete-encased duct banks and 11 precast concrete manholes, some of which were more than 12 feet deep, we were able to overcome the flooding without sacrificing the schedule or budget.”

Wissehr’s careful planning and execution produced a successful project, despite man-made and natural challenges.

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