Toppled tower
Explosion takes down tower along Ingraham Trail

Tracy Kovalench
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 07/98) - Anybody driving past the Dettah turnoff might have the feeling that something is missing.

The Ptarmigan Tower, one of the twin towers just past the Dettah turnoff was brought down with a bang Wednesday morning.

Erected during the Second World War, the 90- meter steel tower has not been used for anything other than a landmark for quite some time.

Eight years ago, the GNWT assumed control of the tower when it took over responsibility for airports from the federal government.

For the duration of its occupation, the GNWT has been paying about $120 per month for the tower's power connection, which does not feed any power source, namely strobe lights. Without strobe lights, the tower poses a pretty nasty threat to airplanes in the vicinity.

It would have cost the GNWT about $30,000 to install the lights, plus an extra $1,000 per year for regular maintenance, says Randy Daniels, maintenance administrator for the department of public works.

After an unsuccessful intergovernmental and public inquiry exploring possible uses for the tower, the department came to its decision nine months ago.

"The most feasible action was to take it down," says Daniels, who was joined by about 20 onlookers and almost as many cameras to witness the tower's destruction.

Now the RCMP tower, equipped with strobe lights, stands alone to greet cars down the Ingraham Trail.