New River Electrical is proud to have worked on many memorable projects over the years. Even just recently, we’ve completed innovative cable installations and installed electrical lines with a helicopter. But one of our most unique projects has to be our work with American Electric Power to install two 80-foot tall football goalposts that function as transmission structures across Interstate 77 in Canton, Ohio.
Between the Goal Posts
Canton, Ohio, is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which was constructed in 1963 but recently underwent a massive expansion and renovation. “As part of their expansion project, they had an electrical line that went around the Hall of Fame village,” said Jake Grice, VP Overhead Line. “It was at some point in their design process that they thought of the idea to design the two steel transmission structures to resemble football goalposts.”
New River’s Overhead Division won the bid through AEP and got to work. The project brought with it extra logistical challenges that made the unique project even more complex.
The first logistical challenge was the location as the goalposts would be placed on each side of I-77.
“It’s a pretty ingenious design to not only serve as a transmission structure, which was necessary, but also to add a bit of a themed gateway to the Hall of Fame that wasn’t present before,” said Grice.
However, because the electrical lines crossed such a busy thruway, NRE workers needed to work overnight. “We coordinated closely with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to perform all of the work over I-77 at night, closing the traffic periodically so that we could get the work done safely,” said Grice.
Working with the Community
The second challenge was the schedule. The entire project needed to be completed in time for the Hall of Fame Game, which was a tight turnaround, especially considering the surrounding organizations that the project managers had to cooperate with to schedule the work.
“We were sandwiched between Canton Mercy Hospital, a large community park, and Canton McKinley High School,” said Grice, “so we needed to communicate with each group to ensure that our work didn’t conflict with their events or keep them from being able to function as normal.”
That required our project managers to constantly juggle the needs of the surrounding community while also delivering the project on time and on budget.
A Unique Design Requires a Unique Installation
“Well, we’ve installed countless poles for overhead transmission lines,” said Grice. “But we’ve never installed poles that looked quite like this. The structures themselves are one-of-a-kind designed specifically for this project by Valmont.”
The design understandably led to a special installation consideration. The arched member weighed nearly 15,000 pounds, and the pronged and curved shape of them resulted in an awkward lift.
Not to mention that the poles arrived on site with a custom NFL yellow paint. It’s the same color used on the actual goalposts in NFL stadiums across the country. “It’s not like you can run down the store and get touch-up paint,” said Grice, “so we wrapped each of the structures in a protective cover to keep it safe from scratches during the installation process.”
A Stunning Result
The final result was an exciting accomplishment for the New River Electrical team. “We were able to get the project done in time for the Pro Bowl Game, even with all of these challenges,” said Grice.
However, an odd turn of events prevented the game from happening that year. “There was an issue with the paint applied to the field,” explained Grice, “so all parties agreed that canceling the game was the best course of action.”
Despite this disappointment, the goalposts have become somewhat famous in their own right. Considered the world’s largest goalposts, the pair of neon yellow transmission structures welcome visitors to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Linemen who are also football fans enjoy their two worlds colliding in these football-themed stanchions.
We’re proud that we got the chance to work on this project and set the standard in professionalism, excellence, and safety on this Pro Football Hall of Fame project.