FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Sept. 24, 2015) -- A 500,000-gallon, 113-ton Fort Leonard Wood water tower near the post's veterinary clinic was raised an additional 34 feet Friday.

Under the supervision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a contractor's torch cut through the existing tank stem and the new 34-feet, 53,000-pound section was added, raising the tower's height from 122 to 156 feet.

Elevating the tower provides additional water capacity to the post's water supply system, said Jim Allison, team leader, USACE North Resident Office, Fort Leonard Wood.

"The additional water capacity is necessary to support existing facilities, such as the warehouse district and added facilities such as the new Advanced Individual Training barracks under construction in the Specker Barracks area," Allison said.

"The revised water tower provides additional water for firefighting capacity in the form of additional water pressure and also provides additional water capacity in the event of an interruption to the fresh water-supply system," he explained.

The planning and design process to increase the tower's elevation began more than nine months ago.

To do the heavy lifting, cranes with the capacity to hoist 550 tons, 450 tons and 210 tons were used in addition to a 150-feet-man lift (device used to move workers to elevated heights of a structure).

Even though the cranes are all mobile, it took 13 tractor-trailers to transport the support equipment, according to Allison. That equipment included more than 500,000 pounds of counterweights for the two larger cranes that had the ability to extend 197 feet.

Renting the cranes was $200,000 of the $1.4 million project that included 20 people. Work began at 9:30 a.m., and with assistance of the cranes and five welders going full blast, the revised tower was raised and standing on its own by 6 p.m.

Allison said this was the first time that USACE raised a water tower on the installation, but "municipalities commonly do this when there is a need for additional water pressure to support growing communities."