Case Study: East-West Gateway Regional Digital Microwave System

Enhancing Communications and Interoperability Throughout the St. Louis Region


The Client

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments. The Council provides cooperative problem-solving and coordinated development of regional policy in the St. Louis area. It serves the Illinois counties of Madison, Monroe and St. Clair; the Missouri counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis; and the City of St. Louis.


The Project

In 2003, the federal government began the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program to help urban areas to enhance their security related to terrorism and natural disasters. With funding from the UASI program, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments contracted with RCC Consultants to develop the St. Louis Regional Land Mobile Communications Plan. A critical component of the plan, which will increase interoperability among the region, is a regional microwave system.


The new system, which is funded by $9.7 million in federal Homeland Security funds, is composed of 76 tower sites in the region. It will allow the area’s existing independent communications systems to be linked together so the area’s police, fire and emergency medical agencies can achieve interoperability for radio communications when faced with a natural or manmade disaster.


The East-West Gateway Council of Governments has hired Alcatel-Lucent Technologies to design and install the microwave network in three phases. RCC will oversee its implementation.

  • Phase I will be implemented in Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties and the city of St. Louis, starting in January 2010.
  • Phase II will be implemented in Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties in concert with the installation of a new P-25 -700/800 MHz trunked radio system.
  • Phase III will include implementation of new microwave systems in Franklin County.


RCC's Role

RCC is providing many important services for the project, including:


  • Assessing the needs of the participating localities. Each county has different forms of local government, ranging from local municipalities with their own public safety agencies to single purpose jurisdictions that include fire protection, ambulance, school and sewer districts.
  • Developing the St. Louis Regional Land Mobile Communications Plan, which includes the regional microwave system.
  • Overseeing implementation of the regional microwave system.