Cell tower at Hwy. 100 East and Rte. Z has been built - Not yet operational

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Story by Jeff Noedel

The cell tower that U.S. Cellular set out to build in late 2006 -- a project tied up in Franklin County zoning, then State and even Federal courts -- was built last week.

The new tower is located close to Hwy. 100, at Rte. Z.  It has often been referred to as "the Berger tower."

In zoning hearings and court documents, U.S. Cellular engineers and lawyers said the tower was essential to the carrier's goal of "providing seamless service on Hwy. 100 from I-44 to Hermann."  Engineers at U.S. Cellular testified that the Hwy. 100/Z site is one of the highest elevations in all of Franklin County.

Yesterday (Sunday), cell phone transcievers had not yet been installed at the top of the tower, so it is not yet providing cell service.

The tower is hard to miss at night.  Already, bright red beacons punctuate the dark sky near 100 and Rte. Z.

The Berger tower is expected to fill gaps in service on Hwy. 100 from Little Berger Creek through Rte. Z, and is also expected to improve service somewhat in the eastern-most Hermann area.

U.S. Cellular customers will experience the service improvement first.  However, it is common practice for other cell carriers to "co-locate" on a new tower.  Before long, AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint may also locate transcievers on the tower and pay U.S. Cellular lease payments.

CNL and Hermann Muenster covered this story closely in 2008 through 2010.  To read more about the long process to build this tower, search U.S. Cellular in the CNL search window.