T-Mobile Cell Phone Tower Set to Move to Make Way for I-79 Exit Ramp
Planning commission approves moving the tower about 800 feet from its current location on Dutilh Road.
Can you hear them now?
A 189-foot tall cell phone tower on Dutilh Road that provides service for T-Mobile customers is set to move to a new location about 800 feet away. The tower still would be located on Dutilh Road.
Ron Henshaw, Cranberry’s director of community development, said the tower has to be moved because it’s in the way of a proposed exit ramp leading from Interstate 79 to Route 228 that PennDOT plans to build later this year.
The new northbound and southbound ramps will eliminate the need for drivers to make left turns from Route 228 to access the interstate. The hope is the new ramps will ease traffic that backs up on Route 228.
SBA Communications Corporation, an operator of wireless communications towers across North America, owns the tower.
Cranberry’s Planning Advisory Commission members on Monday approved moving the tower to a new location behind Monroe Muffler on Dutilh Road. Because the new tower will be at a lower elevation, its height will be 220 feet, which is about 30 feet taller than the original tower.
Henshaw said the extra height would ensure T-Mobile customers receive the same service they have with the current tower.
“All they’re trying to do is achieve that same level,” he said.
Henshaw said the tower was in compliance with an airport ordinance Cranberry’s board of supervisors approved last week.
Adopted because of the township’s proximity to the Butler County Airport in Butler and the Lakehill Airport in Adams Township, the regulation restricts the height of future buildings in Cranberry Township to less than 200 feet. Henshaw said the tower would not be located in the flight path PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation designates as within striking distance of planes.
“Luckily for them, they’re out of that zone,” he said.
Per the ordinance, any future building that exceeds the elevation would require a Bureau of Aviation review. The regulation is not expected to have much of an impact in Cranberry because the township requires building heights to be less than 110 feet.
Plans for the cell phone tower will next go before Cranberry's board of supervisors for approval.