Right mix finally found for OCC streetlights

       Want to see how bright the new streetlights will be in Old Colorado City when they're finally done? Check out the four poles in the middle part of the 2600 block of Colorado Avenue some evening.
       Those are currently the properly configured lights in the historic business district, based on a May 17 inspection by officials from Colorado Springs Utilities and the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District at about 10 p.m.
       The roughly 45-minute test, during which the street was blocked off and Utilities workers changed light configurations in response to feedback from below, initially involved a total of eight streetlights in the middle and on either side of the 2500 and 2600 blocks, according to Judy Kasten, who chairs the district's advisory committee; and Ric Geiman, district liaison from City Parks.
       “If you look at it at night, it's obvious,” Geiman said. On the night of the test, “we were standing in the middle of the street, and the light was casting shadows.”
       As a result of the test, additional hardware for the remaining lights is being ordered, with delivery expected in about a month, and installation anticipated before August, according to Rachel Beck of City Utilities.
       “We tried a bunch of different configurations. The one we decided on has a large dome cap on the inside, the bulb (150 watts) sits a little farther down in the base, and there's a shield on the building side, so there's less light on the building and more down and outwards,” Kasten ex-plained.
       Geiman added that on a few of the poles more rear illumination will be allowed. An example is the light in front of the public parking lot on the south side of the 2600 block.
       Kasten said she's hopeful the re-engineered ballasts will prove as successful as expected - partly because the issue has gone on for so long and partly because the district needs closure on the issue so it will have a better idea where to put supplemental lighting committee members have been planning along the avenue.
       Through a purchase agreement with the district, Utilities this winter installed the 41 historic-style, double-headed lights (34 replacement and 7 new) along Colorado Avenue and its side streets between 24th and 27th streets. However, issues arose afterward with the amount of illumination they shed.
       At first it was believed that the problem was the low-wattage bulbs that a supplier had mistakenly provided, but when the lights proved insufficient even after the bulbs were changed out, Utilities specialists started examining the ballast hardware.

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