Official Sees Dead Zones and Wants Action


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Lizz Milardo, Haddam’s First Selectwoman, has collected over 500 signatures across two petitions to improve cell phone coverage on Saybrook Road along the Route 154 corridor. The project has been stalled over the last 20 years, reported The Middletown Press, but Milardo is determined to kickstart it, especially for safety reasons.

According to JoAnn Ricciardelli, assistant to Milardo, “When you hit 154, it’s a dead zone. You can’t make calls, you can’t send texts…It’s the most frustrating thing in the world because if there’s an emergency, nobody can do anything.”

With topographic challenges – high cliffs and a low river – the area suffers from spotty service, even with six towers in Haddam. And regardless of the provider, service is lacking.   

Milardo has been approached by first responders who voiced concerns to her in 2015, about the lack of coverage on Saybrook Road. Additionally, other incidents that have transpired since (fatal bicyclist accident and a bank robbery) where bystanders did not have cell coverage, show the urgency of correcting this issue, according to the account.

Last year, there were three locations identified as possible tower spots including: the Merchant House in Tylerville, which is privately owned; the Saybrook Road firehouse; and on Jail Hill Road across from the Great Hill Athletic Complex.

Milardo wants to fast track this project, hence the petitions. “This whole thing came about because I don’t know what else to do. We’re on a list and it’ll happen, but how quickly?” she said. “The biggest thing to me is the safety,” she added. “That is just huge.”

October 3, 2017                 

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