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The CN Tower - Enduring Engineering

written by: johnsinit • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 5/10/2010

The CN tower is the hub of telecommunications around Canada. It took twenty-six months of careful planning to develop this highest tower in America. But what makes it to stand all the natural and man-made disturbances? Does it truly deserve to be called among the seven wonders of the modern world?

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    CN Tower Images

    CN TowerCN Tower at NightCN Tower - View From Below
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    The Creation of CN Tower

    The Canadian National tower has the accolade of being the telecommunications hub, the tallest structure in the Americas, and a major tourist spot. It started as a conceptual idea in 1968 by Canadian Railway to show their supremacy in construction and, as well, to serve the communications industry in a more efficient manner. It took four more years for the concept to become official, and twenty six more months for it to materialize. The CN tower was erected to a height of 553.33 meters (1,815.4 ft) and it held the highest tower record for thirty-one years until it was beaten by the Burj Dubai.

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    Some Stats

    The tower weighs approximately 130,000 tons and the cost incurred was around 63 million dollars. But the entire time and the money spent are really worth it as it serves more than sixteen different television and radio stations. It also acts as a perfect tourist spot and houses a three sixty degree revolving restaurant, a night club, and many observation decks. The tower literally pierces through the clouds and the view from the top is completely exotic. It is classified as one among the seven wonders of the modern world.

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    The Design

    The building’s prime existence started as a bare necessity since there was a big city to be served through telecommunications, and the area to be covered was vast requiring a tower of great height to spread the waves. So in 1972 a design was developed and the initial trouble was with the foundation. Such a lofty structure needed a very great foundation too deep into the soil where hydrostatic pressure from the bedrock can be a problem. So the design was made such that the tower by itself was made into a ‘Y’ shaped structure and the core consisted of a hexagonal shaped configuration.

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    The Technology

    The technology used known as the “slip form" technique is nothing but the process of exposing the concrete to lateral and upper pressure so as to make it stronger and develop it into a better structure. A Skypod was used to build the upper part of the tower and basically it involved the movement of 318 metric tons of steel and wood and, furthermore, more than 45 hydraulic jacks were used for the movement of the material from the top to the bottom. The finishing touch was toughest indeed and it involved the installation of the antenna which was made possible by “Olga," the Army helicopter and took only three weeks to secure the mast with more than 40,000 bolts.

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    Natural Causes

    Natural elements were taken care of brilliantly. Winds up to 215 miles per hour can be withstood by the tower and the copper lightning rod also endured that lightning did not disrupt the tower in any way. The tower to date stands perfectly in the ground and on the sky, making it a perfect example of architectural excellence.



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