Work began about a week ago on the second of two new water towers at the Roswell Air Center.
When finished in August 2021, the city of Roswell water tower project will increase the water capacity of the Air Center area, including its businesses, residences and government entities, by 1 million gallons. Water pressure and water quality also will improve, according to City Engineer Louis Najar.
The current water tower at Earl Cummings Loop and East Gillis Street holds 500,000 gallons, said Najar. It was built in 1943. Each of the new towers holds 750,000 gallons.
“I am excited about the project,” he said. “We’ve only had one water tower in the past. We have water reservoirs, but only one other water tower.”
The $6.15 million project is funded by $5.5 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, with the remaining funds coming from the city water capital fund.
The first new tower is located next to the existing one, which will be torn down once the new one is operational and cellphone towers have been transferred.
The second tower is close to the Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell campus, near West Martin Street and Earl Cummings Loop.
Landmark Structures of Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded the contract for the project. The current excavation work on the second tower will progress to laying steel reinforcements, Najar said. Concrete will be poured there as well.
“What is going to happen is that we will start doing the pedestals,” Najar said.
The towers will be 175 feet tall, and Najar predicts that they will become landmarks. The spheroids on top of the pedestals will be painted with the new green hue adopted as a city color and will include the city’s trademarked font and its logo, the “R” with a UFO and tracking beam through the letter.
“You will be able to see them from the highway and from the town,” he said. “I think they will be cool.”
He said the work is not expected to require street closure or long-term water disruption, although water might have to be turned off for short periods of time.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.