A new communications tower that would rise a little more than twice as tall as any current Madison County structure could be going up just south of Madisonville by early next year, according to the manager of the construction project.
“We’ve still got a lot of issues with right-of-way to the site to clear up, so it could be about four months before we start construction,” said Keith Matheny, senior project manager with EasTex Tower, a Longview-based firm that handles all stages of tower development. The actual construction on similar towers takes about a month-and-a-half.
“Sometimes they go more quickly than that,” Matheny said.
The new tower, planned to be installed near an Entergy Corp. substation between Pee Dee Lane and Cannon Lane south of Madisonville, will rise a proposed 310 feet above ground level, besting the height of the county’s current tallest tower of 154 feet AGL near Collard street in town.
The taller tower could be a boon for cellular reception in the county, if Entergy chooses to co-locate with a wireless provider. The main purpose of the tower as planned is to provide better communication and control between the substation, located at 1615 Cannon Lane, and Entergy.
“The benefit is it makes the substation more secure,” Methany said. “It helps prevent cyber-attacks or whatever.”
The planned tower would be marked with lights and other identifiers under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
According to a legal notice from the builders, “comments are sought regarding any environmental concerns about this project, particularly any specific reasons that the tower may have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.”
“Interested persons may file a Request for Environmental Review with the Federal Communications Commission within 30 days of the date on which this notice is published,” according to the notice.
Requests for environmental review can be made online at https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/support/antenna-structure-registration-asr-resources/filing-request-environmental-review.