Danville Express

Newsfront - October 26, 2007

Let the lights shine

PG&E installing new streetlights in Danville

by Jordan M. Doronila

The Town of Danville is partnering with PG&E to install approximately 500 new streetlights in neighborhoods along Camino Tassajara.

The town is taking out its old wooden streetlights, and PG&E is replacing them with new aluminum ones, said Steve Lake, town development services director. The lights will be installed on the north side of Camino Tassajara from Sycamore Valley Road to Old Blackhawk Road. The deal saves money for the town, Lake said.

"In the long run, we don't have to do streetlight maintenance," he explained.

The new streetlights have teardrop decorative fixtures. PG&E began installing them in September, in an effort to help Danville address the safety concerns posed by the older poles.

"The newer streetlights are more energy efficient, more reliable and emit less light pollution," said Bruce Mosley, PG&E director of maintenance and construction.

The town anticipates the work being finished by the spring. Once the new streetlights are installed, PG&E will own, maintain and operate them. In the past, Danville had to pay for the streetlights' upkeep.

There are approximately 3,200 lights in Danville. The town owns 1,400, and PG&E owns the rest. Under the new deal, PG&E will put in around new 526 lights, replacing ones previously owned and maintained by the town.

The replacement work in Danville is part of a larger, system-wide effort to replace any hazardous "center-bore" streetlights. These older wooden streetlights were installed in the 1970s and 1980s. Moisture, lawn mowers and weed eaters have combined to erode the base and stability of these poles.

"They are reaching the end of their lives," Lake said.

He said the town began negotiating its deal with PG&E 18 months ago, and it was also considering a county proposal to take care of rundown streetlights. However, that proposal has been put aside, said county officials. The town opted to go with PG&E.

Some county residents were dissatisfied with PG&E, and the power company met with the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Monday to discuss improving its service.

"We are going to do a better job in maintaining streetlights," said David Eisenhauer, PG&E spokesman.

Danville is pleased with the deal, Lake said.

"We are now going to really have nice streetlights," he said.


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