Installation of a long-awaited cell tower in Southern Shores began Tuesday. The tower should put an end to spotty cell-phone reception for residents in parts of the town. The 130-foot-tall tower, which is designed to look like a large flagpole, is on a piece of Southern Shores Civic Association property at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and N.C. 12 in an area known as the triangle.
American Tower Corp., which builds and operates cell structures, is leasing the parcel and subletting space to third-party wireless carriers. “Our plans also include the construction of a compound wall along with landscaping,” said Matt Peterson, the corporation’s vice president of communications. “The wall and landscaping portions of the project will start next week and take around three to four weeks to complete.”
Work at the site has been slow since it began this summer and had taken longer than expected, civic association members have said. The group entered into a lease agreement with AT&T in 2013 to erect the tower. The contractor barely squeaked by an August deadline that had to be met under a conditional-use permit requiring work to commence at the site.
While there had been some controversy over the tower in the past, many residents live in dead areas where calls don’t come in or out and they get virtually no reception. The worst areas were reportedly between the 50 block of Ocean Boulevard extending to Seacrest Village, along with a spot as you turn on Dogwood Trail and head east again.