New Madrid

The need for a new, elevated water-storage tank in New Madrid, MO, presented several challenges for the Phoenix engineering department, given the close proximity of the tank site to the New Madrid seismic zone. After several ideas bounced back and forth among engineering, fabrication, and erection departments, a solution was chosen that would be constructible in the field and meet the engineering requirements of the high seismic forces prevalent in the area.

This solution incorporated a cam system for double bracing rods and required each set of bracing rods to connect to alternating columns as opposed to the next adjacent column. Several additional engineering considerations had to be investigated as a result of this geometry, but it was deemed the tower support structure would safely withstand the required seismic demand with this configuration of bracing rods.

The next challenge was to determine how to construct the tower support structure efficiently and safely with the network of intertwined brace rods. Three dimensional CAD models were prepared and a 1:36 scale model was constructed to determine the best-suited erection sequence for the bracing rods. By using several resources available to Phoenix internally, a plan was devised and implemented in the field, and erection of this engineering marvel was successfully completed.

Project Details


New Madrid, MO


New Madrid, MO

Tank Size & Style:

750,000-Gallon Multi Column
118’ High Water Level
Tank required double skip rods due to high seismic activity

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