July 1, 2003 – The Water and Power Authority is making progress on its streetlight program on St. Croix, its executive director, Alberto Bruno-Vega, said in a release on Monday.
He said he was responding to an appeal from Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards for WAPA to fix the streetlights because residents are worried about their safety at night.
Bruno Vega said most of St. Croix's streetlights needed repair.
WAPA presented its lighting repair plan to the Public Services Commission at its June 24 meeting, PSC executive director Keithley Joseph said.
St. Croix has 2,811 streetlights. Carl Greene, WAPA St. Croix line superintendent, said that 89 percent of them have been repaired. And, he said, lights at 59 major intersections have been upgraded to 400 watts from 200 to improve night visibility.
The island has had another 1,500 streetlights out of commission because of damage from various hurricanes, Joseph said, and those lights are now being repaired.
Bruno-Vega said that in the housing communities of William's Delight, Campo Rico and Castle Burke, lighting is 100 percent. And he said that WAPA placed 27 streetlights along the road leading to the Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino.
He said the utility upgraded streetlighting on St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island after previous hurricanes and storms. Eight years ago, that district had 3,681 streetlights; today there are 4,997.
WAPA plans to install lighting in developing areas, the release stated, and is in the midst of installing energy-efficient high-pressure sodium streetlights, which use less power and create less glare.
The authority was made responsible for most of the territory's streetlights as of Dec. 31, 2001. Customers pay a surcharge of $1.50 a month to help cover the costs of lighting maintenance.
However, Public Works continues responsibility for streetlights along Melvin Evans Highway on St. Croix and Veterans Drive on St. Thomas because they are federal roadways. Public Works hired Best Electric to do the job, with WAPA paying the bills.
The release asked that anyone seeing a streetlight in need of repair call 774-3552 for St. Thomas, St. John or Water Island, or 773-2250 for St. Croix.
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