New cellphone tower near Providence designed to look like an elm tree

Thursday, December 19, 2013 | 6:54 p.m. CST
A new cellphone tower being built near Providence Road will look like an elm tree to blend in with its surroundings.

COLUMBIA — A new cellphone tower being constructed to resemble an elm tree poked above the tree line off Providence Road on Thursday.

The tower, which is just south of the MU sports facilities, is replacing a temporary "cow" — a cell tower on wheels — in a location selected "to help off-load demand during MU athletic events," Columbia Development Services Manager Pat Zenner said.

The project is being funded by a private development, St. Charles Tower, which hired US Tower Services Inc. for the construction. The 105-foot tower consists of the typical steel monopole design with branches attached to the outside, US Tower Services job supervisor Shawn Huber said. The design is constructed with plastic leaves and fiberglass branches, which are screwed into the pole with steel rods.

The plot of land is owned by Greg and Misti Post, according to an agenda report from a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Huber said the structure is called a stealth tower because it is meant to "blend in with its surroundings." The city staff proposed the idea of a stealth tower — the first in Columbia — to reduce its visual impact, Zenner said.

"We wanted a facility that blended in more with the landscape," he said.

US Tower Services has also made towers that resemble a cactus, pine tree and palm tree.

"They look pretty cool when it's done," Huber said.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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