DPR Construction completed a week-long erection of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport air traffic control tower with a two-piece prefabricated cab in August. After the initial 206,000-lb, prefabricated steel bulge pick, the structure was topped off with the 110,000-lb cab. The two critical crane picks marked the topping off of the largest single project in the airport’s history.

The team also was challenged with a tight tolerance for the precast elevator shaft that extended through the bulge. The 30-ft-tall shaft had less than 1 in. of clearance on three sides. 

The new tower has space for eight controller stations and stands more than 190 ft tall, more than 65 ft higher than the existing tower.

Tepper wanted to capture the topping out because of the unique prefabricated elements—steel structures and concrete shafts—and the careful coordination needed when 100 tons of steel were on the crane’s hook.