With all the snowfall it may be a little hard to see at the moment, but in between the flakes you should spot some new street light poles and fencing that have been installed along SR 59, particularly over the Haymaker Parkway bridge.
When the Engineering Division discovered that the old street light pole mounts were rusted beyond repair they saw an opportunity to not only improve public safety but to give Haymaker a much needed face lift; changing out the tired galvanized grey poles with a more modern, freshly-finished black pole. Same with the old penitentiary stlye fencing. It’s the City’s version of nip and tuck.
For obvious reasons public infrastructure is built to last — which is good since we trust it with our lives every day — but we’re out to prove that there’s no reason it can’t look good too. We thought Haymaker Parkway was a great place to start since it’s a gateway into downtown Kent and we hope it will create the kind of positive first impression that Kent deserves.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, I think we’re off to a good start.
But we’re not stopping with street light poles and fencing; we’ve hired a contractor to go through the Haymaker corridor and at each intersection, from Middlebury Road to Horning Road, replace the span wire traffic signal mounts with new black mast arms, new pedestrian signals and new traffic control boxes.
These upgrades will not only look great but they’re also a significant technology jump forward so we should be able to do a better job of platooning traffic safely and efficiently through this busy section of the City.
You should see signs of the signal project being underway with contractors using a horizontal drilling/boring machine to install new conduit and pull the new fibers that will carry the communications to and from the traffic control boxes.
The signal contractor is just getting started so there’s no new signal installed yet but if you want an idea of what it will look like you can head out to the intersection of West Main Street and Stonewater Drive to see the prototype signal installation.
This $2.4 million signal project is scheduled to be complete by September 2011. I can’t wait.