Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)  -  A new element was added to Rochester’s downtown skyline this week.

Amid all the construction activity taking place on the south end of the downtown district, another large crane was extended skyward on Thursday to assist a special construction crew hired to erect a new 190-foot tower to serve Townsquare Media’s radio stations in Rochester (News-Talk 1340 KROC-AM, Rochester’s #1 Hit Station 106.9 KROC, Quick Country 96.5, Y105, 103.9 The Doc, Z-Rock 107.7 and 1520 The Ticket).

photo by Andy Brownell/TSM

The project began in the spring with the excavation of a deep hole in the parking lot of the Townsquare Media parking lot at 122 4th Street Southwest. The hole was needed for the deep footings that anchor the multi-section steel tower that suddenly appeared on Thursday. The footings feature a thick concrete pad and three high strength cement piers topped with huge bolts used to fasten the tower to the ground.

The arrival of the tower has prompted numerous calls to the radio stations from people interested in knowing the reason for it. You could say it’s related to the Destination Medical Center initiative.

Kim David, Townsquare Media

All of the radio stations with studios in the Townsquare Media Rochester headquarters are linked to their actual transmitters through narrow beam microwave transmissions that require a line of sight connection. For many years, those STL (studio to transmitter links) have been on a barely noticeable 40-foot tower at the downtown site that was tall enough to maintain a connection to the transmitter sites, but recent development projects have resulted in new buildings that now partially block and will eventually totally block the connections to the transmitters located at the bases of much taller towers outside of the city.

That led the engineers who really understand this stuff to conclude the solution was to push the tower at the radio state studios much higher to enable the transmitter beams to shoot over the new buildings, which should result in much clearer signals on your radio dial in the very near future.