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Verizon aims to build six new towers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Verizon Wireless has submitted applications to the Kanawha County Planning Commission to build six new cellphone towers along the West Virginia Turnpike in the eastern part of the county.

Currently, the area has limited to no cellphone coverage by Verizon and other cellular phone providers.

Kanawha County Engineer John Luoni said the new towers would be helpful to emergency management, as incidents could be more quickly reported along sections of the Turnpike with increased coverage.

"This should really help," Luoni said.

The cell towers are to be located in the Turnpike right-of-way at Cabin Creek near Dry Branch, Standard, Nuckolls, Whittaker, Greencastle and Collinsdale.

If the applications are approved, construction of the towers would begin in six months at the earliest, said Don Carretta, Verizon executive director of networking for Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

"The West Virginia Turnpike is a busy corridor that we'd love to cover," Carretta said.

All the towers would be equipped with 4G technology, Carretta said, but Verizon hasn't decided if the new towers would be compatible with older technology, such as 3G phones.

Although other cellphone carriers have agreements with Verizon to use its network, the towers would be accessible to them only if the company decides to equip the towers with older technology.

Carretta said there has been significant demand for coverage along the Turnpike.

"I even hear that from employees (of Verizon)," he said.

If the planning commission approves Verizon's applications, the company can then file for the proper building permits and begin construction when funds are available.

The towers will be discussed and possibly approved during a public hearing held by the planning commission at 6 p.m. July 10 in the Kanawha County Commission Courtroom in the Kanawha County Courthouse.

Contact writer Matt Murphy at or 304-348-4817.

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