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Project aims to improve wireless service in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Published: Friday, July 18 2014 4:25 p.m. MDT

Crown Castle, along with the Utah Department of Transportation, will install a distributed antenna system network on state Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon to improve wireless, cellular and 911 service.

Steve Baker, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation, along with wireless telecommunications infrastructure contractor Crown Castle, will install a distributed antenna system network on state Route 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon to improve wireless, cellular and emergency 911 service throughout the canyon.

Construction on the project is underway and scheduled for completion this fall, project spokeswoman Sandi Lampshire said.

The project consists of installing 11 new antenna poles on UDOT’s right-of-way. The fiber-optic cable connecting the poles will be installed underground starting at the mouth of the canyon running to Alta Entry No. 2, Lampshire said.

The distributed antenna system will improve the full range of wireless services in the area, she said, including voice quality, high-speed data transmission, photo, video, audio, email and Web access offered by today’s more sophisticated wireless devices.

With the project, UDOT will increase its statewide fiber network by 9 miles and be able to monitor weather, roadway and traffic conditions within Little Cottonwood Canyon at virtually no incremental cost to Utah’s taxpayers, said Lisa Miller, UDOT traveler information manager.

"It makes the canyon much safer and mobility increases, which are two very big focuses for UDOT," Miller said.

Upon installation, the 35-foot brown antenna poles will hold UDOT weather, traffic and avalanche equipment in addition to improving wireless service, Lampshire said.

Also, 12 new guard rail sections will be installed along the highway as an added safety precaution.

The “hub,” which holds the carrier’s equipment and fiber connections, will be built in the upper end of the canyon, near Alta, Lampshire said. Wireless services will be available by summer 2015, after the hub construction is complete.

Construction will commence during the daytime Monday through Friday, she said, with some occasional work being done at night when necessary. Crews will conclude at noon Fridays to accommodate increased weekend traffic flow, Lampshire added.

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