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David Schuler

As one engineer to another - In addition to the materials used, engineers must also weigh the cost-benefit ratio and expected environmental conditions. These new towers are SEVEN times the cost of the wooden towers, and the only stated benefit was improved lightning resistance. Do we really expect life guards to remain on the beach in an approaching thunderstorm? How can they be sure that the grounding rod is properly buried six to eight feet into the earth and properly bonded to the tower? Are they qualified to inspect the installation before each use? Furthermore, 'environment' must take into account the fact that these towers regularly get hauled around by front loaders. The wooden towers were old fashioned, yes, and weren't 'wrapped' with gaudy graphics, but they apparently stood up to both the elements and rough handling that are an inherent part of the Galveston beach environment. As for life span - I've owned boats in Galveston and Portland, OR, and the hot salty conditions here are extremely corrosive compared to many locations on the east or west coasts. So time will tell.

Kelly Naschke

I worked in the beach environment for 25 years. I know firsthand the effect of the harsh conditions on various metals, fabrics, fiberglass etc. If those towers make it 20 years, I’ll eat all the crow that your 35 years of engineering book smarts can throw together. Ain’t happening.....Hell...one unusually high tide...and broken front end loader....they could be gone next week.

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