Downtown Frederick will be getting a little brighter this winter, as street lights along East Patrick Street are replaced with newer models.
About 72, 25-foot light poles along East Patrick between East and Bentz streets will be replaced with 14-foot poles, offering more light on the sidewalks below.
The replacement work, which began Monday, will be done on one side of the street at a time, according to a city news release.
While the work is being done, East Patrick Street will be limited to one lane of traffic in certain sections, the release said.
The street lights will also be off during the work, according to an email from Kara Norman, executive director of the Downtown Frederick Partnership, which helped secure funding for the project.
The work is expected to be completed on Jan. 31.
Mayor Randy McClement (R) said the shorter poles would provide better lighting along the street, and benefit residents and visitors.
“It’s better for pedestrians, better for traffic, and they’re high-efficiency bulbs, which will help us on our electric bill,” McClement said.
Most of the funding for the project — $31,100 — came from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Awards program.
The city Department of Economic Development worked with the Downtown Frederick Partnership to apply for the grant, said Donna Goff, the city’s economic development specialist.
Upgrading the poles will also make any repair work simpler, since the older poles sometimes were difficult to work on, McClement said.
“Part of the problem is as those poles get old, you can’t find parts for them anymore,” he said. “It helps us not have to scavenge them to make repairs.”
The new poles are also outfitted with electric outlets, which will be used by the city to power the holiday lights in November and December, McClement said.
Previously, the city had residents and business owners trail extension cords out of windows to plug in their lights. Now, most of the areas will be plugged into city light poles.
The city paid more to have the electric outlets installed on the poles, although McClement wasn’t sure of the exact amount.
The poles are being installed by city workers, he said.
Lt. Clark Pennington, spokesman for the Frederick Police Department, said the increased illumination in the area will also make it safer for residents.
“Increased lighting does nothing but benefit the community and make it a safer place,” Pennington said. “We can see better at night and patrol better. With the public, crimes don’t normally occur in a lit area because criminals don’t want to be seen.”