Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced 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
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.
About 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. This only further emphasized the necessity for quality reception in this area.
Senator James Skoufis said, “I’m beyond thrilled that our efforts to accelerate the construction of cell towers in this notorious dead zone were successful. Thousands of constituents drive through this dead zone along the Palisades Parkway, including thousands more who, during the pandemic, went to Anthony Wayne Recreation Area to get tested or worked at the testing site itself. I thank Verizon for doing the right thing by our residents, visitors, and EMS alike.”
Senator David Carlucci said, "Dead-zones like this stretch of highway are extremely dangerous. EMS has told us in some cases accidents cannot be reported until 15 to 20 minutes later. If first responders are delayed to an accident scene then lives can be lost. Now, 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. We need this project expedited by Verizon to ensure public safety."
Debbie Vobroucek, President of Woodbury Community Ambulance Inc. said, “Installation of this tower will offer a great convenience to all those who pass through our service area in the Town of Woodbury. Even more important, it will provide the ability to get and receive calls in emergency situations and will truly be lifesaving! Many thanks to Senators Skoufis and Carlucci for fighting for us and never giving up. It’s a major win for the Town of Woodbury and our emergency services personnel are extremely grateful that it is finally being installed.”
Once the construction of the towers is completed, electric services will be installed. The towers will be fully activated before the end of the year.