Haverhill LED Street Light Revamp Underway; Residents Still Say ‘Not Bright Enough’

Mayor James J. Fiorentini discussed lighting upgrades with Kevin Patenuade of Arden Engineering. (Courtesy photograph)

Four hundred of an approximate 4,000 street lights across the City of Haverhill have been upgraded as part of a transition from “antiquated” fixtures to modern, LED technology—but resident opinions on the improvement are still mixed, say officials.

On the heels WHAV’s report that three lights on Main and Water Streets were either out or “dim” at the time of pedestrian Charles Burrill’s early morning hit-and-run death Jan. 25, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said that Arden Engineering is in the middle of changing out bulbs in its first week on the job. The project is expected to wrap up over the next three months.

Department of Public Works Director Michael Stankovich said residents aren’t yet sold on the overhaul, projected to save the city more than $350,000 on maintenance costs annually.

“We have already received a few calls from residents about this project, which is what we expected,” Stankovich said. “Some people are saying the lights are too bright, others that they are not bright enough, and still others are just curious about what is going on.”

According to Stankovich, the street lights are put in place to “illuminate the roadway for the safety of motorists and pedestrians” and not meant to illuminate yards or provide property security. The DPW chief urged residents to call 311 to report outages.

Once installed for a one-time retrofit fee of $1 million, the new light emitting diode bulbs are guaranteed to last at least 10 years, Fiorentini’s office said. Haverhill purchased the street lights from National Grid in March 2018. Maintenance is currently overseen by Merrimac’s Municipal Lighting Department.

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