Awesome and Terrifying: How New York Radio Towers are Maintained
A critical question has finally been answered for curious minds in the Hudson Valley. Recent photos show an amazing and daring journey to the top of a New York mountaintop for radio tower maintenance.
Radio Towers in the Hudson Valley, NY
On both sides of the Hudson River, giant radio towers can be seen on peaks of many of our beautiful mountains. Most are not accessible by roads, which makes service visits seem impossible. A recent post from the New York State Police (NYSP), however, show exactly how its done.
New York Radio Tower Maintenance
In Dutchess County, the radio towers on top of Mt. Beacon are visible for miles in every direction. The towers provide many services, from broadcasting commercial radio signals to providing communication for public entities like the State Police. Many are so remote that they aren't even connected to the public power grid.
Helicopter Mission in New York
"NYSP Aviation-Albany supported Division Communications with a resupply mission on Black Mountain in Washington County to keep the radio tower up and running", began a post from the State Police. Like many towers in the Hudson Valley, the Black Mountain site near Lake George needed to be reached by less than traditional means.
Radio Tower Supply Run in Washington County, NY
Photos of a helicopter carrying a massive payload of propane tanks to the top of the mountain were recently shared by police. As they explained, since there are no traditional power options on the top of the secluded mountain, the towers generally rely on both solar and wind power. The propane tanks were flown to the tower for the backup generator to assure there's never a loss of power. But what about actual tower maintenance?
Radio Tower Climbing
Terrifyingly, for even the most simple of tasks like changing the lightbulb on the top of the tower, you need to climb. In New York, the average tower climber can take home upwards of $60,000 a year. Not enough by far for someone like me who gets sweaty palms just thinking about taking the journey. Think you're up for it? Check out the dizzying video of a cell tower climb below.