911 Radio Project

Microwave, Radio & Tower Work On Schedule

The County’s radio/microwave project remains on schedule and within budget. Click on a topic below to learn more: 

For an overview of the overall radio project, click here.
For a birds-eye look at the 41-month project schedule, click here.
For a look at the new first-responder equipment, click here.
Check out all blog posts by going here.

The County and its consultants in December traveled to Texas to participate in testing of new microwave upgrade equipment. The microwave network is a key component of the County’s public safety network by transmitting radio and paging network signals and data. 

The two-day test of the microwave equipment in Texas was successful, and the new equipment should be installed on the County’s transmission towers in 2015.

The County’s radio and paging networks depend on transmission sites located throughout the County. It’s crucial that these towers are properly located and able to support the equipment used for the network.
The County as part of the project will be able to use its existing tower sites, but is required to complete a structural analysis of each site and renegotiate leases with third-party owners. Those negotiations are nearly complete.

Meanwhile, the structural analysis work is finished, but the County must upgrade several sites to accommodate new code requirements.

To accommodate the change in radio frequency to the 700 MHZ band, the County is also adding two sites, including a site in Chanceford Township that will be built under a cost-sharing agreement with state government.

Following a competitive bidding process, the Board of Commissioners in November awarded all tower work to J.G. Contracting of Carnegie, Pa. The firm was successful with a $1,059,770 bid, or approximately $500,000 below the budgeted amount. Approximately $396,000 of the cost of the tower work will come from state government.

Harris Corporation, the radio system vendor, is completing its equipment production, set-up and testing. Factory Acceptance Testing of the new radio equipment is tentatively scheduled for late January/early February at the Harris facilities in Lynchburg, VA. This preliminary testing ensures the equipment functions correctly at the factory before it is transported here for installation. 

Installation of this equipment on tower sites is slated to begin this summer in anticipation of the eventual transition to the new system in 2017.

Check out an overview of the project schedule by clicking here.


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