A new look to main street

The new LED lights (foreground) emit a softer, whiter light than the older fixtures that cast a yellow-orange glow (background). Now that the new poles are installed, Ogden Municipal Utilities workers will take down the remaining ones. This picture is taken from the west, looking east.  -Ogden Reporter photo

by KATHY PIERCE

REPORTER STAFF WRITER

Phase I of the new street light project is nearing completion. The 24 new angular light poles along mainstreet are a sharp contrast to the old fifties style curved design. Ogden Municipal Utilities (OMU) is finishing up installation and will soon have the older fixtures taken down. And everyone can agree, they give mainstreet a clean, sharp look, while keeping with the small town character.

While looks are important, it was the deterioration of the structure (corroded bases and bolts) and efficiency that let to the decision of replacing the fixtures.

“The new LED lights are much more efficient than the former high pressure sodium ones,” says Craighton. “They have lower wattage, but with the same output. And they are very low maintenance, which will save time and money in the future.”

In order to help prolong pole  life, OMU Superintendent Brandon Craighton says they opted to go with raised concrete bases, hoping to prevent corrosion from salt used throughout the winter months. The black powder-coated extruded aluminum poles he feels will be more durable as well.

The previous light poles were lit for the first time Saturday night, Sept. 3, 1955. Ogdenite Jerry Stumbo recalled his dad Jack, who was mayor at the time, throwing the switch that turned them on. A news article stated a large crowd was present to welcome the new appearance on main street.

 

The lighting project has been a joint effort.

According to City Administrator Emily Clausen, the City has set aside $150,000 for the street light project, funds coming from local option sales tax dollars.  Boone County Community Endowment granted Ogden Legacy $5,000 towards the project. By having Ogden Municipal Utilities do the installation the City is saving a significant amount of money.  OMU is contributing approximately $60,000 in labor and supplies. 

“But we are still looking for individual sponsors as well,” says Clausen. If interested, contact Clausen at City Hall, 515-275-2917.

The utilities crew began the project last May. Holes were augured to install the precast bases. That’s when Craighton says they ran into some unexpected complications. “We came across old chunks of concrete six feet underground that had to be jack-hammered out.” As each pole was installed wiring was updated.

Craighton gives credit to the workers. “Our crew has done a fantastic job and put a lot of hours preparing and installing these lights.”

With winter approaching, Phase II of the project will commence in 2019. Post-style lights are planned for the business district area along Mulberry Street.