It's six stories high, nearly as wide as a football field and is peeking out above trees near the Madison airport. This week Madison officials explained what it is.
"It's a Vortac and what it does it tracks airplanes as they travel across the country the airspace above this area," said Tommy Boxx with the Public Works Department.
In other words, it's like a giant GPS for airplanes. Madison city officials say they negotiated with the FAA to keep the structure less conspicuous -- keeping in tradition with all other tall structures in town.
"It's behind these trees and that's one thing the city officials wanted was to protect the viewshed of the people driving up and down Old Canton Road. The neighbors have in this neighborhood, we tried our best to camouflage and hide it," Boxx said.
Some of the structure can still be seen from Old Canton Road, but a few changes have been made to the design to help camouflage it.
"What you see is what you'll see except for the top it will be painted. There will be antennas up there, but they'll be painted green to blend in with the background. But it's a large dish structure on stilts," Boxx said.
Madison already has a Vortac in use. It's located near the Reunion subdivision, but city officials say that one has to be moved after the FAA lost the lease to the land it sits on. That structure has been there for about 30 years.
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