Can you hear me now? Yes, even in canyon

A trio of cell phone towers, one already built and two more anticipated for early next year, could eliminate dropped cell phone calls in De Beque Canyon, said Chris Stryker, site acquisition consultant for T-Mobile.

“We should have complete coverage through the canyon,” he said Tuesday after the Mesa County Commission unanimously approved the third in a series of cell phone towers along Interstate 70 through the canyon.

The latest tower was approved for an area on S Road, approximately 7.8 miles southwest of De Beque on Bureau of Land Management property. The tower is permitted to be a maximum of 75 feet high.

One of the other two towers has been built just east of the tunnels on I-70. The third antenna will sit near the intersection of Colorado Highway 65 and I-70.

All three towers, when complete early next year, allow for use by at least two other carriers. Stryker said T-Mobile has been in negotiations with other cell phone companies to use the towers, but he did not know the status of those discussions.

“The rule of thumb is: Once it is built, they will come,” he said.

The sites were strategically chosen to provide optimal cell phone coverage with a minimal effect on views from the highway.

“Instead of 12 sites through De Beque Canyon, we wanted to get the biggest bang for our bucks,” Stryker said.

The tower on S Road and the fence at its base, intended to screen ground equipment from view, will be painted a desert tan color, according to T-Mobile’s request for a conditional-use permit to build and operate the tower.

The tower will have no lights and will have “perch guards” intended to keep birds from nesting.


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