A fiber-optic partnership between the Utah Department of Transportation, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Parks Service, and Crown Castle, will make cell service, and improved safety, in American Fork Canyon a reality in 2020. Work may begin as early as this fall and include 26 small cells, or one, 35-foot tall antenna along the road, connected by fiber optic cable installed underground, reported the Daily Herald.
“The ultimate goal is to add some additional weather collecting equipment and traffic cams so we can monitor conditions in the canyon in real-time and also be able to monitor weather conditions in real-time,” said Geoff Dupaix, public information officer for UDOT Region 3.
The 5G small cells will enable Crown Castle to partner with carriers to provide coverage along the State Route 92 roadway. According to Russ Hanson, the district ranger for the Pleasant Grove Ranger District in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the fiber-optic network can assist the U.S. Forest Service in managing the land as visitation up the canyon continues to increase.
Hanson said he did receive some objections from those concerned the small cells would impact the canyon view. But the canyon can’t continue to be managed the same way it was even ten years ago, Hanson said, and the ability for quicker communication will allow the land to be better managed for the public.
August 23, 2019