Niagara Falls Observatory
Fed from the torrent waters of the Niagara River – and powered by the convergence of Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls – Niagara Falls features the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the area to see the powerful, natural wonders of Niagara Falls. A favorite choice of visitors to witness the falls up close is to ride the famous “Maid of the Mist” boat cruise, which is boarded from the bottom of a large observation tower: the Niagara Falls Observatory.
The project’s engineers started searching for an alternative material, and Champion Fiberglass was the perfect fit for the job. Along with UV and corrosion resistance, the main feature that sold Champion Duct was the fact that it was so lightweight. To put it in perspective: the originally specified PVC-coated rigid steel conduit weighs approximately 10 times more than fiberglass conduit. For this installation, the PVC-coated rigid steel conduit would have tipped the scale at 33,322 lbs. versus only 2,700 lbs. for fiberglass conduit.
Safety was a major concern as well, since installation would happen 250 feet above the ground with workers using scaffolding. The engineers and contractors needed an option that was easy to install and maneuver so high up—again, that solution was Champion Duct. Working with fiberglass made it easier for workers to maneuver the conduit through the maze of existing support beams to hangers suspended from the observation deck.
When visitors arrive to board the “Maid of the Mist,” they probably don’t notice the success Champion Fiberglass had on this project. That’s okay. They do, however, get to take advantage of one of the benefits of choosing fiberglass conduit. Not only did choosing Champion Fiberglass make the installation easier, safer and more cost- effective for the contractor, but it enabled them to add more elevator access to the observation tower—lessening the wait time to view Niagara Falls.
After construction concluded, the project manager confirmed to Champion Fiberglass that they would be “happy to use fiberglass conduit on another project.”