A radio tower project in Corry is "nearing completion" and will be entering the final phase within the next 30 days, according to the Erie County Department of Public Safety Director John Grappy.
The local aspect is part of a larger project for the Department of Public Safety's Next Generation Radio system.
The project aims to give county radio systems and emergency responders a common platform so they can operate on the same frequency and communicate more effectively with surrounding counties. The plan calls for the improvement, or remediation, of nine existing towers and the construction of eight new towers across the county.
"The tower is up but site work is still being conducted," Grappy said. "Grading and fencing are still being set up."
The next phase of the project involves bringing in a Texas-based two-way radio operator, E.F. Johnson, to oversee the local company, Mobilcom, as they install all the electronics.
"I have a radio project meeting tomorrow to schedule that," Grappy said. "The current phase will be completed in approximately the next 30 days. They will then immediately begin the next phase of the project which includes installing the radio systems."
Grappy said after the next phase is complete, the project will enter it's final testing by the end of the year.
"This is where we begin a phased in system to get local police, fire and EMS up to date on the new system," Grappy said.
"Things have been progressing very well."
There are at least 17 additional tower sites throughout the county.
The 17 tower sites are:
- Corry on Smith Street
- Two in Wayne Township
- Union City on Route 6
- Edinboro on Route 6N
- Albion on Route 6N
- Fairview Township on Route 5
- Lake Erie Community Park
- An Erie 93 site on Route 89
- Hilltop Road in Erie
- Flower Road in Summit Township
-Presque Isle State Park
- Two in Waterford Township
- Greenfield Township
- Springfield Township
- Harborcreek Township
"The tower and the communication system upgrade has been a long time coming. There are issues with the system in place," City Manager Jason Biondi said in a previous report. "The upgrade will not only help improve communications in the city of Corry, but also with the surrounding areas that we need to make contact with on a daily basis. The system should help the emergency and hazard response for Corry and the surrounding areas for years to come."
According to Grappy, two more towers are going to be erected at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation building in Union City and the Lake Erie Community Park in Girard Township.