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I-87 cell coverage set to increase with new tower

NORTH HUDSON Motorists traveling Interstate 87 will now notice increased cell phone coverage near the town of North Hudson. Verizon Wireless activated a cell tower there Oct. 9, after being approved by the Adirondack Park Agency 10 months ago. The tower was installed on private land behind Gokeys Trading Post on State Route 9. The towers installation comes after months of public outcries for increase cell phone service along I-87, commonly referred to as the Northway. In 2007, Alfred Langner of Brooklyn froze to death after his car went off I-87 and he could not contact emergency personnel due to a lack of cell phone service in the area. Todays activation by Verizon Wireless of their North Hudson cell site is great news for all who have recognized the common-sense need for cell phone coverage to ensure public safety along the Adirondack Northway, said state Sen. Elizabeth OC. Little, (R-Queensbury). It has been over a year and a half since Alfred Langners tragic death, just hundreds of feet off the Northway, as a result of not being able to make a cell phone call that would have saved his life and spared his wife from severe injury. As progress to improve cell coverage continues, it is my hope that no family will ever have to endure such a senseless loss, the senator added. The North Hudson cell tower is the first of 13 planned sites that will eventually close a more-than-50-mile coverage gap along the Northway. The new site in North Hudson will provide coverage along approximately six miles of I-87 from the Schroon\North Hudson town line to approximately 3.5 miles north of Exit 29. Three other sites in Lewis, Schroon Falls and Warrensburg are currently under construction and are expected to be operational by year-end. Another new I-87 Verizon tower is approved for installation near Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain in Keeseville next year. Activating the North Hudson site is an important step forward in our efforts to bring wireless service to the Northway, said Marquett Smith, president of Verizon Wireless Upstate New York Region. Were pleased with the progress were making to close this coverage gap and are committed to getting the remaining sites built and in service as quickly as we can. I thank Verizon Wireless and those who have played a direct role in making this happen, as well as commend the efforts of former Gov. [Eliot] Spitzer and now Gov. David Paterson, AAA Northway, hundreds of town and county officials, chambers of commerce, emergency responders, the Brooklyn Hasidic community of which Mr. Langner was a member, and the thousands of constituents and Northway travelers who have written letters and e-mails and made phone calls to push this issue, Little said. The Northway project is part of the more than $100 million Verizon Wireless plans to invest in its Upstate New York Region network in 2008 the eighth consecutive year the company will invest more than $100 million in the region. This investment brings Verizon Wireless total network investment in Upstate New York to more than $1 billion since 2000.

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