Drivers in the Hudson Valley won't have to worry about a long stretch of a popular highway where there's no cell phone service.

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Anyone driving around Bear Mountain and on the Palisades Parkway between Orange and Rockland counties likely experienced the cellphone "dead-zone."

One of my first jobs out of college was covering high school sports in the Hudson Valley. My office was based in Rockland County. Every day I took Bear Mountain and the Palisades Parkway to get from my home in Newburgh to my office in Nyack. And every day I lost cellphone service.

Not only was this a major inconvenience, but it was also extremely dangerous for anyone who ran into car troubles in the "dead-zone."

Last year, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester), Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange/Rockland/Ulster) and local officials brought attention to a dangerous dead zone on a 4-mile stretch of roadway from Rockland into Orange County on Thursday.

Drivers traveling on the Palisades Interstate Parkway, Route 6, and around Harriman State Park have been unable to make a life-saving 911 call or the call drops, officials say.

Officials called on Verizon to begin construction on two cell phone towers. Officials emphasized the immediate need, as the busy stretch of the Palisades Parkway can see thousands of drives a day, and often the Parkway and Route 6 experience fatal vehicle or motorcycle accidents.

“It’s a black hole, a dead zone, and people’s lives are being put in jeopardy when they cannot reach 911 or report an accident until almost 10 to 15 minutes later," Senator David Carlucci said last year.

Almost a full year later Skoufis confirmed construction was completed.

"No more dead-zone while driving past Bear Mountain on most of the Palisades Parkway! I'm delighted to announce that construction has been completed for two cell phone towers in the notorious dead-zone on the PIP between Orange and Rockland counties," Skoufis said. "My thanks to Verizon for doing the right thing for our residents and EMS by expediting this project. Thousands of New Yorkers continue to drive through this previous dead-zone and these improvements will undoubtedly help keep residents and visitors safe, as well as make EMS services more accessible around Bear Mountain."

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