Construction to commence on new Tumamoc communications towerby Pima County News on Dec. 03, 2012, under Pima County, Public safety, Southern Arizona, Tucson, Uncategorized
Construction will begin this month on a new communications tower that will allow more than 30 first responder agencies to communicate directly with one another to strengthen coordination in times of emergencies.
The construction of the 125-foot tower also will reduce the development footprint on Tumamoc Hill, by removing six towers and three buildings from the top of the hill, which is known for its cultural and historical significance, as well as for its popularity with hikers and walkers.
“Tumamoc Hill is clearly a community asset, which is why we’ve worked to protect it through our open space and historic preservation bond projects and why we’ve worked so diligently to reduce the impacts of this project,” said Capt. Paul Wilson of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, who is serving as project sponsor for the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN).
“The culmination of these planning efforts is really a win-win for the community. We will be better able to protect our first responders, and those who need their help, while also consolidating existing communications equipment on the hill itself to reduce the visual and physical impact.”
More than 61 percent of voters authorized the development of a regional public safety radio system and emergency communications center in the 2004 bond election.
The Tumamoc site was selected because its elevation and unique location are critical in alleviating poor radio service for local police, fire and emergency medical service responders. Approved in 2010 after a round of public hearings, construction will commence by mid-December, now that an environmental assessment has been completed, as well as an evaluation by the Federal Communications Commission.
Special care is being taken with the project, including:
- Construction will be contained to areas of previously disturbed land.
- The tower will not require lighting, so there will be no disturbance of the night sky.
- One of the buildings being removed is on theeast ridgeand currently the most visible from the valley floor.
- An archaeological monitor will ensure that no cultural features are impacted during construction.
Construction impacts on the public should be minimal, since the only area affected will be the parking lot near the buildings and towers at the top of the hill. Construction is expected to occur during times the University of Arizona already restricts hiking, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays.
Pre-construction activities could start the first week of December 2012, and all construction will be completed by June 2013 with the communications system operational by the end of 2013.
A public meeting has been scheduled on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the City of Tucson Community Resources Center, 320 N. Commerce Park Loop, for the community to receive current information about the project.