Streetlights OK'd for Jones Road
With the Jones Road extension project edging closer to its expected May 25 completion date, the city of Jersey Village is moving forward with last-minute decisions.
Those include making the call to install 44 traditional, cobra-style, or curved, streetlights along the new four-lane roadway at a cost of $15,000 in addition to $8,400 in yearly electricity bills.
City Council voted on April 18 to move ahead with the lighting installation after a few months of discussion over worries about whether the money was being well-spent in the current sluggish economy and whether streetlights are needed.
Councilman Mark Maloy, who cast the only vote against the measure, said a professional engineer told him streetlights would not affect what type of development, if any, will emerge along the new roadway and do not necessarily encourage retail development, which is something city officials said they hope will result from the Jones Road extension.
Maloy pointed out that Harris County does not pay for streetlights except at traffic signals, something a Harris County official confirmed during the meeting.
"The city should be cautious with the money it has and not put money to light a county road when the county won't," he said.
However, the other four council members continued to be concerned about safety along the new roadway and argued the lighting would help drivers navigate the road safely and keep criminal activity at bay.
Police Chief Eric Foerster said the city would benefit from the street lights.
"We already have crime over there, and if we don't (put in lighting), it's going to get worse," he said. "We're going to have to handle it one way or the other, with lighting or more police coverage."
Erik Tschanz, the city's Jones Road project manager, said a ribbon-cutting celebration is set for 9:30 a.m. on June 3, after which traffic will be allowed on the roadway.
The project is a joint venture between Jersey Village and Harris County. The city allocated about $1.35 million for utilities, such as the water, sewage and stormwater systems, while the county earmarked about $2.55 million for paving and roadway construction.
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