HUDSON — For those who may think the city's new downtown street lights are too bright, officials have good news.
The lights' amplification was reduced after the $4 million North Main Street Downtown Improvement Project project was finished and the lights will be dimmed even more once workers have the needed parts, according to Jody Roberts, the city's communications manager.
Roberts said city officials knew the lights were bright after they were first installed during the project and had planned to dim them when the work was done. She noted residents have raised concerns about the brightness of the lights.
"We didn’t anticipate that they would need to be dimmed further after that," added Roberts. "We agree with residents that they are still too bright, which is why we sought additional ways to soften the lighting."
As part of the North Main Street project that began in summer 2016 and ended in September 2017, Roberts said 27 decorative lights and five overhead Cobra lights were added in the area and 13 older lights were removed. She noted some new lights were added along side streets. The overall cost of purchasing equipment, removing old lights and installing new ones was $421,000, said Roberts, who added the cost to re-equip each light with the new fixtures is $14,000. The latter cost is being paid for with money left over in the downtown improvements project budget. The $421,000 figure comes out of the Hudson Public Power fund, she said.
"The new LED lights were brighter than the older lights," said Roberts. "The city kept the lights bright during construction because it helped provide light for nighttime construction."
After construction was finished, Roberts said Hudson Public Power (HPP) lowered the light amplification "as far as possible, but the lights are still quite bright."
She noted HPP is ordering new parts for the lights that "will allow us to dim them further," and added the city will be changing the LED components to emit a light that "resembles the traditional orange glow, rather than the current blueish tint."
"These changes should offer a much softer looking light, and will be closer [to] the older streetlight look," noted Roberts.
She said the parts to dim the lights have been ordered and will probably arrive in about 60 to 90 days. Once all the materials have arrived, Roberts added it will take 30 to 45 days to install the new parts and the LED components.
According to Roberts, the complete North Main Street project included: total pavement replacement, concrete curbs, reset sandstone curbs, drive aprons, sidewalks, a new sidewalk from State Route 303 to Church Street, a new paver path on Clocktower green, lighting system, irrigation system, pervious pavers, street trees with silva cells, a sandstone retaining wall, sandstone walk inlays, waterline, storm sewer and widening to allow for diagonal parking from Clinton to Owen Brown.