Lighting It Up On Main Street

To some, the Main Street improvement project is moving slower than Main Street traffic.

Eversource is the cause: making improvements to their underground vaults and wiring, while contractors lay underground electrical conduits to power new street lights.

But the 1st lampposts were installed this week, and they are definitely worth the wait.

They’re street scale — not highway scale, like the current high-intensity “cobra head” lights — and blend in well with their surroundings.

The new Main Street lamppost (smaller) stands in contrast to the older, taller, "cobra head" light.

The new Main Street lamppost (lower) stands in contrast to the older, taller, “cobra head” light.

The new ones feature high-efficiency LED lights, which will project a “warm light” at the proper intensity.

They’re equipped to hold a decorative banner and flower basket too.

There will be 20 lights in all. The design was chosen by the Downtown Steering Committee, on recommendations from 2 consulting firms and the Village District Study (which included a historical consultant).

First Selectman Jim Marpe has named a new Downtown Implementation Committee. Next month, they begin implementing the rest of the downtown plan.

Meanwhile, the sidewalk project has moved to the east side of the street. Target date for completion — including some new trees — is the end of September.

Finally, we see the “light” at the end of the tunnel Main Street.

20 responses to “Lighting It Up On Main Street

  1. Richard Spangenberg

    Seems the job has not been engineered well. I’ve heard that the first rainstorm we got flooded the basement of the stores near Oscars. Looks like the sub layer under the bricks was just applied without regard to waterproofing.

    If true, the construction company should tear it up and start over at their own expense. Possibly the whole sidewalk is done incorrectly! should not do a project like this without engineering specs and requirements for such things. Doesn’t look like we met any or possibly had any! Where are our town engineers?vDo these guys have a permit? They certainly appear to know how to cut corners. Is this a disaster is the making?

    I hope not.

  2. don l bergmann

    Credit goes to the Downtown effort people for the new lights, but it began with Lou Gagliano successfully pursuing a State grant. Lou was the prime “mover” for the Downtown Planning effort and his vision and hard work are starting to be realized. Of course, our DPW Director Steve Edwards is also in the picture in a positive manner.
    Don Bergmann

  3. In that picture you have a decorative light and a big “highway” light.
    Are we breaking the new sidewalk to take out the old lights or keeping them both?

    • Linda, all the old “highway” lights will be removed once all the new lights are installed. New brickwork will be fitted into the space where the old lampposts existed, and integrated with the new sidewalk. No damage to the new sidewalk will occur. Enjoy!

  4. Are there electric motors to roll up the sidewalks after 6 pm when the chain stores close? 🙂

  5. I’m taking odds that there is no way the sidewalk project will be done by the end of September. Oh, silly me, you must have meant the end of September 2050, just before all of downtown becomes flooded (your post, not mine).

  6. Has anyone noticed that all the trees up by Acorns are marked to be cut down? Seems like they are just beginning to provide some nice shade, I wonder why they are being removed.

  7. Should look especially nice at Christmastime.
    Maybe it’s just the photo, but the flower baskets look small, which will require a lot more attention.

  8. Regarding the ability of the new light poles on Main Street to carry hanging plants AND banners: The lights themselves aren’t that interesting but I guess they don’t offend. The treacle soaked flower/banner thing is another story. This is the 80’s boy band of dated street features . You could get off the bus almost anywhere in the nation and see the same tacky, boosterish glop. I do have a question though; when I comes to printing up the propaganda – sorry, banners – who is the decider on content?

  9. Sharon Paulsen

    Wouldn’t the banners likely be just for town events, holiday themes, maybe school events (things like First Night, Halloween Parade, A soccer team fundraiser, a gallery event, library event, Levitt concert, etc.?).

    The lights are an improvement and will probably be charming, once it’s all put together with new trees!

  10. Yes, I agree, Sharon. Banners are meant to be celebratory, bringing smiles of anticipation.

    • But isn’t that a form of a sign…maybe we should take a survey Nancy to see just how effective they can be. I nominate you to be in charge of this committee!

      • Nancy W Hunter

        Apples and oranges, Jamie. And, by the way, the “survey” comment was in jest.

  11. Sharon Paulsen

    Yup, totally, Nancy!

    I can envision a row of American flag banners, up and down main street, for July 4th, and Veterans Day, and Memorial Day celebrations. Might help lift spirits.

    I used to handle print production for outdoor banners for events like Boston marathon, NY marathon, and other venues, for various clients via the marketing agency I worked for, and it was fun to coordinate those particular endorsements, even if it was strictly corporate advertising. It was only a very small part of what I worked on, but it was cool, nonetheless.

    Anyway, I suppose it’s still somewhat superficial, but at the same time, cozy and welcoming, to see cute banners along our common streets. Denial, and realization, all at once, perhaps?

    • Nancy W Hunter

      Yes indeed, artists here vie for the opportunity to have their work displayed on city banners… even the smallest towns proudly display street banners created by elementary school kids! A lovely welcoming.

  12. I’m excited by all these changes. The town is starting to look great!