SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Construction continues on the tallest structure being built in North America this year.
Precision Communications, an Oklahoma-based broadcast tower and antenna service company, has been hired to help KELOLAND Media Group install a new KDLO-TV tower in rural Clark County located near Garden City.
The 1,705-foot KDLO tower collapsed in a winter storm because of ice accumulation in December 2022. A second 800-foot tower collapsed a few hours later impacting over-the-air channels for 3.1 and 3.2 in northeastern South Dakota.
KELOLAND Media Group Chief Engineer Brian Baier said cleanup and demolition of the old KDLO tower, which stood since 1978, started immediately after the storm. This spring, crews began the process of building a new KDLO tower.
“The new tower will be 1,705-feet tall and the antenna itself is 105-feet long and weighs about 24,000 pounds,” Baier said. “It will cover the same amount of area.”
You can view some of the construction photos and storm damage photos in the slideshow below.
The goal before winter hits is to reach 800 feet with a temporary transmitter antenna before getting above 1,600 feet in Spring 2024. Currently, crews have been building 50 different sections of about 20-feet tall and the current tower stands at more than 160-feet with a temporary gin pole.
Work on the tower is weather dependent – high winds or rain cause delays.
KELO-TV is still available through DIRECTV, Dish Network, cable and streaming providers.
You can see the contour map of what range the KDLO tower reaches.
Tallest structure currently being built in North America
Baier said Precision Communications crews have said this tower will be the tallest structure built in the United States this year. Baier noted the KELO tower near Rowena is taller at more than 1,900 feet.
“To give you an idea, it’ll be 1,705-feet once completed. The One World Trade Center building is 1,776-feet tall and it’s the eighth tallest building in the world,” Baier said.
KELOLAND Media Group and Nexstar Media Group have to navigate Federal Communications Commission and Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations as the new tower is built and has proper lighting requirements.