|In 2017, the Board awarded the bid to design and consult on the construction of communication towers for the Woodlands Fire Department to All Pro Consulting Group. The project was to build seven towers over a four year process. During the 2018 Budget process, the Board approved the enhancement and acceleration of the project funding to build all seven towers in 2018. The total budget for the project was $1,350,000; $400,000 carried over from the 2016/2017 Capital Budget and $950,000 from the 2018 Capital Budget.
Phase 1 and 2 are the initial engineering steps required before the physical construction of the towers. Once Phase 1 and 2 are completed, the consultant will solicit bids for the physical construction of the towers (Phase 3). The construction cost for the seven towers will then be presented to the Board for approval.
Phase 1 of the project includes:
A) Microwave Path Walk: The path walk is the beginning to the microwave design process. The path walk actually begins in the office as a paper study. This study reviews topological maps for overall height changes from tower to tower. After a paper study is complete, the field walk will begin and observation of obstacles will be recorded. The combination of the paper and path studies will produce a required height for all the microwave links. The path walk must be completed prior to the microwave design.
B) Microwave System Design: Using collected data from the path walk and FAA waivers, the microwave system can be designed. The frequency and data rate are a part of the design; however the Township will need to make recommendations based on other existing equipment in the area. The microwave design will be done in two (2) parts to ensure the project timeline is met.
First, a preliminary design will be provided to The Woodlands for review and approval. Once approved, the tower heights and GPS locations will be used to submit FAA waivers for the requirements. Once the FAA has approved or disapproved the heights, a final microwave design will be completed. The design will be based on Cambium products as requested.
C) FAA Waiver: An FAA waiver is required by federal law to be completed for all tower sites. If the tower location is determined to be out of all flight paths, any height will be granted to the Township. If the tower is in a path, the FAA will dictate the height allowed at the provided GPS location. In some cases, the tower height allowed may not be tall enough for line of sight. If this should occur, other solutions can be considered at that time.
D) Initial Site Visit: The site visit will document dimensions of needed distances, hand draw an overview in plan and elevation view, and determine the power and fiber sources. The collection of this data is required for all other tasks.
In most cases, the initial site walk is sufficient to collect all data required to begin design of this project. However, changes can occur to the project that would require supplementary site walk(s). Although these instances are not typical and will not pertain to all sites; it should be noted up front that additional funding for a supplementary walk may be required if such changes occur.
E) Lease Exhibit per location: The site walk data collected on site will be compiled and drawn in AutoCAD, a computer aided design software. The purpose of the lease exhibit is to show the preliminary concept in a neat and easy to read document. The document should be used as a general design only and will not be as detailed as the construction drawings.
The lease exhibit will comprise of two pages. The first page will be a plan view of the location. It will show our preliminary design for power and fiber runs (if required) as well as our tower location in comparison to the fire station and its property. The second page will be an elevation view. The purpose of this page is to depict the height of the tower with the mounting height/RAD centers of the dishes required. The two page exhibit will be provided to the Township for review prior to proceeding with our design. A land survey showing easements may change this preliminary design.
F) Topo Survey & 1A: The survey is required for most tasks as well and should be started as soon as tower locations are selected. The 1A survey provides the certified GPS coordinates of the new site to within fifty (50) feet and the elevation of the site above sea level. The topological survey is used for the design of the site itself and an access road if required. The survey contains contour lines that allow us to understand the grading and draining of the site as well as the property lines and easements.
The topological survey will be required to complete the construction drawings as well as the design of foundations (in accompaniment with the geotechnical report). The FAA waivers can only be filed using the 1A survey and its determined latitude and longitude.
G) Geotechnical Study & Resistivity Testing: Geotechnical studies are required for foundation designs. Resistivity testing is used for grounding system designs. The geotechnical engineer will make foundation recommendations based on soil conditions that will be used in the design calculations and drawings. The resistivity testing will allow a new ground system, measured to a specified required resistance, to be implemented utilizing ground rods, dissipation plates, or grid style copper mesh.
The geotechnical engineer will have utilities located prior to drilling.
H) NEPA / SHPO: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Review is required by the FCC in order to apply for an FCC license. NEPA report will include a NEPA checklist that summarizes the following: SHPO, THPO, Wilderness Area, Wildlife Preserve, Endangered Species, Flood plain, Surface Features (including wetlands), High Intensity White Lights; and Radio Frequency Emissions.
SHPO Submittal: SHPO requires a Public Notice in the local newspaper.
Indian Religious Sites: Includes archeological desktop review and Tower Construction
Notification System (TCNS) registration.
A tribal review fees might be required, which vary per Tribe. Once register the towers with TCNS the costs from the tribes can be obtained that express cultural interest in the locations.
I) Zoning / Permit: Each site location will require initial review for zoning and/or permitting requirements, to determine whether and what kind of permitting and/or zoning are required. Allpro Consulting Group Inc. will provide The Woodland Township with a written statement if permitting and/or zoning are not required for a given site location if required. Allpro Consulting Group Inc. will complete and submit all jurisdictional applications for each location. Attend hearings in approval process with the Design Review committee or the Design Standard Committee. Obtain application approval/denial and share it with The Woodland Township.
J) Zoning Drawings: Professional drawings provided for each site location which includes all detail for site boundaries and easements levels. Drawings will be stamped and sealed by Certified Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.
K) Photo Simulation: The purpose of a Photo Simulation is to convey a design idea or scenario by overlaying a digital rendering of a proposed design over an existing photograph or a series of photos. Photos for a Photosim can be taken from different directions for the same location so the site can be viewed from different angles. This will assist in the evaluation of the site location and depict the visual impact of the proposed tower.
Phase 2 of the project includes:
L) Structural Designs: The structural designs include, but are not limited to, concrete pads, elevated platforms, tower foundations, retaining walls, and tower designs. These designs will not be required on each site, and some may not be required at all. The total number of each design will not be determined until a later time; after previously listed items are completed.
The designs can only be completed once the geotechnical reports and surveys are completed. For tower designs a manufacturer may be used to cut down on lead time and processing time.
M) Single Line Diagram: An electrical engineer will be subcontracted to prepare a single line diagram for the design. The single line diagram shows required breaker and wire sizes, but uses only theoretical power usage to size the panels. If an existing breaker panel is to be used with insufficient capacity, a load study may be performed to assess the actual power usages. The load study usually takes 30 days of actual power usage monitoring and additional funding is will be required to complete (if applicable).
N) Grounding System Design: The grounding system design will be standard and meet Motorola R56 requirements. If additional grounding capacity is required to facilitate a fire station or other out of scope building, a new system design will be needed. The system will be designed for a resistance specified by the Township.
O) Construction Drawings: The construction drawings (CD’s) will be produced from the data mentioned previously in this report. The document’s purpose is to provide a detailed design of all aspects of the site for a construction general contractor to use.
P) Construction: The construction of the sites, microwave installation and path alignments will directly follow all designs provided by Allpro Consulting Group Inc., and members of the project management and engineering team will readily be available for troubleshooting on site problems and answering question that may be posed. Contractors are also required to take progress photos and submit redlines to ACGI for approval.
Phase 4 Closing Documents:
Q) Material Testing & Inspections: This includes, but is not limited to, concrete break tests, steel galvanization certificates, test well and grounding certificates, and trench inspections. If towers are purchased directly from a manufacturer, testing documents relative to their product should be supplied by the manufacturer.
R) As-Built Site Walk: As built site walks are to be completed after construction. The previously submitted construction drawings will be taken to the site and “redlined” for any field changes that occurred. These redlines will be made by the project manager or engineer who helped produce the final design.
S) As-Built Construction Drawings: Once the as-built site walks are completed, the data will be used to revise the final construction drawings for the as-built condition. This will ensure the end product is thoroughly scrutinized by all parties involved.
The goal of this step is to provide the Township a final accurate product that can be referenced for electrical to structural, from grounding to topography; for all future needs.