Custom Publication of the Bangor Daily News

Federal government building new tower on Bald Mountain

Posted May 31, 2012, at 10:42 a.m.

A new communications tower under construction atop Bald Mountain in Dedham will enhance communications capabilities for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

According to Shelbe Benson-Fuller at the CBP’s Office of Public Affairs in Maine, “Customs and Border Protection has three components: the U.S. Border Patrol, the Office of Field Operations, and the Office of Air and Marine.” While these agencies conduct specific missions, “they also work together for the national strategy,” she said.

In various parts of Maine “are areas lacking in radio coverage for our officers and our agents,” Benson-Fuller said. To solve this problem, Customs and Border Protection has undertaken a “radio modernization project” that involves “updating some of the systems that we have out there,” including an existing 100-foot tower on Bald Mountain, she said.

“There are 62 proposed sites for this [modernization] project throughout the State of Maine,” Benson-Fuller said, noting that “some are already existing sites, like the tower on Bald Mountain.”

After winning the contract for the radio-modernization project, Motorola hired CFE Telecom and Patriot Towers to build different towers. Based in Round Rock, Texas, CFE Telecom started building a new 180-foot communications tower on Bald Mountain on Sept. 9, 2011.

The “self-supporting three-legged tower” is scheduled for completion on July 18, 2012, Benson-Fuller said. The additional height — when compared to the existing tower — “allows for future growth of the trees in the area,” she said.

According to Benson-Fuller, “we’re still trying to decided at this point what to do” with the existing tower.

Elsewhere in Maine, “some proposed sites are being constructed,” she said, and other proposed sites are being reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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