Long Lines Site: Brinktown, MO

The Long Lines site near Brinktown, MO was part of the AT&T (Bell System) Long Lines microwave relay network used between the 1960s and 1980s for relaying telephone calls, television signals, and other data from coast-to-coast before fiber optics technology rendered the system obsolete in the 1990s.

Much like other relay sites along the Kansas City-Halifax route, the Brinktown site doesn’t appear in the March 1960 Long Lines map. It does, however, appear in the 1967 map. The FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database reveals that the Brinktown site was constructed in 1963-64, along with many other sites along the Kansas City-Halifax route.

Like other sites along this route, it features a “semi-hardened” concrete building with no windows and ventilation behind a “blast shield.” These sites were hardened against the threat of potential nuclear bomb detonations, as they were constructed during the height of the Cold War.

The tower itself stretches high above the hilly, tree-covered terrain of rural Maries county. According to the ASR information, the tower has a listed height above average terrain (HAAT) of 81.7 meters, or roughly 268 feet. Like other Long Lines sites, it can be seen from miles away. The site has an ASR registration number of 1005484.

As with a few other Missouri sites – such as Aullville and Windsor – this site was formerly owned by the McCullough Comsites Corporation, which had the site listed on their archived website. As with other McCullough sites like Aullville and Windsor, the site is now owned by the Missouri Highway Patrol. According to Randy Vanscoy, a field engineer for the Missouri Highway Patrol and regular member on a Long Lines Facebook group, MSHP uses the sites for the “MOSWIN” (or Missouri Statewide Interoperability Network) radio system primarily used by law enforcement.

Like other ex-McCullough/MSHP sites, Brinktown has long since had its horns removed. The horns were present during the McCullough ownership, indicating they were likely removed when the Highway Patrol took ownership of the site.

Special thanks to Randy Vanscoy for information about the current state of these sites.

Photos – July 2021 (submitted)

These photos were posted on a Long Lines Facebook group by Evan Glen Brendel, who was gracious enough to grant me permission to republish them here.

The site is under surveillance, due to it still playing a critical role in the MOSWIN radio network used by public safety/law enforcement agencies in Missouri.
A great photo of the so-called “blast shield.” The “blast shield” protected ventilation from the fallout of a nuclear blast, which these sites were constructed to withstand.
While McCullough still had the KS-15676 horn-reflector (“Hogg horn”) antennas installed on the site around 2002 when the mentioned archived page was posted, they were likely removed after the Missouri Highway Patrol purchased the site.

©2021 Garrett Fuller. Photos ©2021 Evan Glen Brendel. Special thanks to Evan for letting me republish these photos.

Photos submitted 7-18-2021. Page published 7-28-2021.