State Senators James Skoufis and David Carlucci announced this week that construction has begun for two cell phone towers in the dangerous dead zone on the Palisades Parkway between Orange and Rockland counties.
The installation of the two towers, one at Tomkins Cove and the other at Bear Mountain, are expected to be completed before the end of the summer. Electric services will then be installed. The towers will be fully activated before year’s end.
Back in February, Skoufis and Carlucci stood with local EMS at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area in Bear Mountain to call on Verizon to prioritize construction on the two cell phone towers. They highlighted the immediate need, citing multiple safety issues this zone has caused for first responders and commuters alike.
A month later, Anthony Wayne Recreation Area was transformed by the state into a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site. Front line workers as well as residents getting tested for the virus had to drive through this dangerous dead zone while navigating uncharted territory in the pandemic.
“EMS has told us in some cases accidents cannot be reported until 15 to 20 minutes later,” Carlucci said. “If first responders are delayed, then lives can be lost. We also have hikers filling up Harriman State Park who need to be able to make an outgoing call if they need help. Without service, GPS tracking also can’t be utilized by police.”
Debbie Vobroucek, president of Woodbury Community Ambulance Inc., said the development was win for the Town of Woodbury.
”It will provide the ability to get and receive calls in emergency situations and will truly be lifesaving,” Vobroucek added.