WAMC News, New York News
4:48 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

New Cell Tower Helps Fill Coverage Gap, One Dead Zone Left on Northway

An effort to have cell coverage along the entire stretch of the Adirondack Northway took another step forward as another cell tower was activated Thursday.  It leaves only a 13 mile gap of coverage along the remote rural highway.

In 2007, the deaths of motorists along the Adirondack Northway motivated authorities to expedite plans to erect cell towers along I-87 without compromising Adirondack Park regulations.   New York Senator Betty Little has been working for years to have wireless communications available along the highway corridor.  On Thursday, she joined with AT&T and other officials in Schroon Lake for the activation of a new tower. Little calls it an important step for public safety.

Essex County Director of Emergency Services Don Jaquist says each addition of a cellular tower helps regional emergency responders.

AT&T installed the latest tower in Schroon Lake servicing the area between exits 26 and 28.  AT&T Upstate New York Spokesperson Ellen Webner says they are pleased with the new site and the progress that has been made along I-87.

Triple-A Northway launched a petition in late May 2007 asking that cell towers be placed along the Adirondack Northway.  Public Affairs Manager Eric Stigberg says they too are pleased with the progress that has been made.

The only cellular dead zone that remains along the Adirondack Northway is a 13 mile gap between exits 30 and 31 from Keene Valley to Elizabethtown.