Vertical Bridge Cleared for New Cell Tower in Big Rapids

The city commission in Big Rapids, MI has granted its approval for Vertical Bridge LLC to begin construction of a 125-foot monopole cell tower within the Big Rapids industrial park. As Pioneer reports, the special use permit was granted at the group’s last meeting. The structure will occupy a 50-ft by 50-ft enclosure at 301 N. Bronson Avenue. T-Mobile will be the principal occupant of the tower.

“We think we have a good location in the industrial park area,” said Brett Blackhurst, representing site developer Fortune Wireless. “We propose building a 125-foot tower there built for T-Mobile. I don’t know if any of you have T-Mobile as your service, but it is not very good in this area. This is definitely needed with the businesses and the university. This [cell tower] is a need for T-Mobile to increase their service in the area.”

After reviewing the proposal, the city commission voted 5-1 in favor of the cell tower project, with the one contrary commissioner expressing concerns about allotting a business-zoned space to an unoccupied structure. Before issuing their final approval, the commission bargained to adjust the tower’s placement another 20 feet to the north. The parties also agreed to an 8-ft height for the surrounding fence according to Pioneer.

“Vertical Bridge is trying to expand its infrastructure so wireless communications carriers can enhance their networks to bring more reliable, higher speed data and voice services to the residents, students and travelers in the area,” stated a letter from the company. “T-Mobile will be the anchor tenant on the tower, with space available for at least two additional carriers to co-locate. The proposed tower would help with the 5G expansion in the area, as that technology comes online, and will help meet T-Mobile’s and future carriers’ goals of enhancing their networks.” 

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