By Seth Daniel
The City is preparing to put out to bid a $550,000 program to bring ornamental, enhanced street lighting up Broadway from Sweetser Circle to the Parlin School.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he and his team are ready to put out the bid very soon to replace 35 old lights on Broadway with custom, ornamental streetlights that match those on Lower Broadway.
“We are really excited about the enhanced lighting program,” he said. “That’s a gold to get that bid going out and get those ornamental lights extended all the way up Broadway…Broadway is not the finished product right now that we envision.”
City Planner Tony Sousa said the City is in the midst of a number of place-making items for Broadway, and as in many cities, one of the first things one can do to change the feel of a district is to add new ornamental lights.
He said the old lights, known as Cobra Heads, have lasted 30 or more years, but don’t have a lot of panache.
“Basically what we’re doing is we are going to replicate the ornamental streetlights on Lower Broadway and replace the older lights with those from the circle all the way to the area near the Parlin School,” he said. “That will be Phase 1, but long-term, we want to go all the way up Broadway with them…It will be a great complement to Lower Broadway and will really give the Square a new identity. It fits in with everything we have been doing and the vision we have for Everett Square…When municipalities are doing place making, ornamental lights are one of the things that you check off on that list. Typically, that’s one of the first things that really changes a place. People really notice it.”
Sousa said the fixtures are custom-built to match the Lower Broadway lights, and cost between $8,000 and $10,000 each.
The money for the project – around $600,000 – is in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget for this year.
He said they hope to have a bid out for the purchase and installation of the lighting before the spring.
The new lights will all be outfitted with efficient LED lighting. The Lower Broadway lights were not LED originally, but were retrofitted a few years ago to LED. The new lights will contain hangers for planters and also poles for the community banners.
Another point, he said, is that new light fixtures have so many functions, from electricity to Wi-Fi capabilities.
“They actually end up turning into a plug-in for whatever kind of new technology might come down the road,” he said.