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Most of Valmont’s projects feature traffic and street lighting structures, but sometimes we are presented with a project that falls far from standard. In 2014, Schuff Steel gave Valmont Industries this type of opportunity. With our trusted and unrivaled pole expertise as well as years of steel fabrication experience, Valmont was chosen to produce a 294-foot spire that would rise above the Los Angeles skyline at an installation height of 805 feet. Valmont was more than happy for the challenge from Schuff and eager to continue to prove our reputation as “the pole experts”.
The first step in this project was to create a meticulous project plan. Since this structure was to be mounted to the top of a skyscraper, manufacturing tolerances were very tight and precision was essential. Valmont engineering and manufacturing teams worked alongside Schuff Steel to finalize the product specifications and design details. Maintaining roundness and straightness was a vital component of this challenging pole design. In order to achieve this, Valmont and Schuff developed a structure that consists of eight steel sections topped with a stainless steel perforated beam that houses hundreds of LED lights to add a distinctive touch to the spire. The connecting flanges between the sections were milled to guarantee vertical straightness and 144 connecting bolts were then used at each connection, making the pole stand stronger than a California redwood. To increase endurance and reduce maintenance needs, the structures were galvanized and coated with three layers of high-technology paint suitable to the coastal environment.
Valmont worked hand-in-hand with Schuff Steel throughout the entire process. Several physical samples of the pole flanges, weld joints, and finish coats were sent throughout fabrication for testing. Valmont helped the customer save time and money by installing all internal electrical wiring, platforms, safety rails, and ladders during the manufacturing process – making the final product a convenient plug-and-play solution. Lastly, all the structures were test-fitted prior to shipping to ensure success with the final installation.
Despite the demanding product specifications, Valmont fabricated and delivered the spire by the September 2016 deadline. Thanks to the cohesive collaboration of the designers, engineers, manufacturing specialists, and the installation crew, Valmont’s pole helped the Wilshire Grand Center ascend to 1,099 feet – making it the tallest building in the western United States.
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