Decorative light ceiling to illuminate downtown Arlington Heights

 
 
Posted2/6/2018 5:02 AM
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  • A decorative light ceiling will be installed this spring at the intersection of Vail Avenue and Campbell Street in downtown Arlington Heights.

    A decorative light ceiling will be installed this spring at the intersection of Vail Avenue and Campbell Street in downtown Arlington Heights. Daily Herald File Photo, 2011

Come this summer, visitors to downtown Arlington Heights will be able to dine al fresco, take in a concert or enjoy a stroll under the evening lights of a new decorative light ceiling that will be installed.

The village board Monday authorized installation of steel light poles at the four-corner intersection of Vail Avenue and Campbell Street, on which a total of six guide wire cables with attached LED lights will be hung.

Village officials believe the decorative lights will help define the key downtown intersection and complement the outdoor lights of nearby restaurants such as Carlos & Carlos, Salsa 17 and La Tasca.

"It's adding to the ambience of downtown," said Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village's director of planning and community development. "It's one more little element to give a uniqueness to downtown."

He said the light strands will be hung corner to corner and on diagonals about 20 feet off the ground -- enough to provide clearance for trucks. The LED bulbs will be on in the evenings, year-round.

Village officials learned of similar decorative light ceilings in Oak Park and Bethesda, Maryland, though in those cases, the lights cover city blocks and not just an intersection.

It's possible Arlington Heights could extend the light ceiling after officials evaluate how well the first phase goes. Witherington-Perkins said it's possible to extend it down Vail or Campbell, or install another one at a different intersection.

The project was delayed a year after initial bids were higher than expected. Costs also rose when it was determined two existing decorative light poles couldn't structurally accommodate the guide wires. Those two poles will be removed and reused elsewhere, officials say.

But bids unsealed last month showed lower installation costs, and on Monday, the village board approved the $34,225 low bid of Oswego-based Utility Dynamics Corp. With the cost of four new poles, the overall project is estimated to be $54,220.

Work crews plan to pour footings for the poles after the winter thaw, with the lights ready to be turned on in April or May.

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