Corrosion Likely Cause of Portland Tower Collapse

The Portland Press Herald said preliminary inspections indicated the 540-foot tower in Portland Maine used by FM stations WMGX and WYNZ collapsed "because metal in the structure's anchoring system had corroded in marshy soil and its guy wires were no longer secure." RF Report reader Mike Leonard in Portland, commenting on the December 15 RF Report said, "it's worth noting the guy that is in suspect was pointed in a tidal, marshy area and recent moon tides are believed to have played a part in the failure."

The Portland Press Herald article by Kelley Bouchard, Plans Begin for Replacing Fallen Tower, said Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI) has been selected to design and build the new tower, which will include three sets of double guy wires and be designed to collapse on itself if it falls. Ernie Jones, ERI's VP of Engineering, doesn't expect it to fall. He is quoted in the article explaining that ERI has installed over 2,000 radio towers in the U.S. and none of them has fallen.

Refer to the article for more information on how local building officials are reacting to the tower collapse and for more details on the design of the new tower.