New $25-million control tower completed at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

Airport working with FAA in anticipation of starting use of the facility in summer of 2018

An aerial photo shows the new control tower. Image courtesy Halfacre Construction Co.

Halfacre Construction Co. of Sarasota recently completed a new 139-foot-high Sarasota Bradenton International Airport tower, the firm has announced.

Halfacre began the project in November 2015, notes the owner of the firm, Jack Cox, in a news release.

“The work required about 30 contractors and more than 100 construction workers,” said Cox in the release. “The final cost, including design, construction and equipment, totaled around $25 million. The new tower is equipped with the latest aviation technology, giving air traffic controllers more precise, system-wide information about weather and flight data,” he pointed out in the release.

The glass for the tower was maneuvered into place with a crane and a hydraulic vacuum lifter, the release continues. The latter is “a specialized piece of equipment designed to lift and place heavy and outsized shapes,” the release explains.

Every custom glass piece used in the project — obtained from Key Glass LLC of Bradenton — is approximately 125 inches across at the top by 108 inches at the bottom by 98 inches in height and weighs about 1,560 pounds, the release adds. Each is laminated and composed of three pieces of ultra-clear, low-iron, half-inch annealed glass in a trapezoidal shape, the release says.

Halfacre Construction turned over the tower to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, which is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to commission the new facility. The tower is anticipated to be operational by summer 2018, the release says.