Bigger, brighter lights on the way for Gautier drivers

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Bigger and brighter lights are coming to Highway 90 in Gautier.

WLOX News has been following complaints about the dim, decorative lights put up a year ago. MDOT said they don't meet highway standards. That's no surprise to many Gautier drivers.

"It be very dark. And I don't even drive at night because it be very dark," Gautier Resident Jeroline Covington said. "It seems like you are on the wrong side of the highway."

Forty decorative lights were installed as part of Gautier's $5 million streetscape project.  Public Works Director Dennis Reeves admits it wasn't until the lights were in, that officials realized pretty isn't always practical. The short poles didn't brighten up the roadway.

"The engineer that designed the project was Neel-Schaffer, and they found out after doing some further research, the uniformity didn't meet the levels set by MDOT," Reeves said.

Reeves said the city went back to the engineers for a fix.

"The relocation of the existing lights, the engineers have stood up and said, 'We will take care of it,'" said Reeves. "It is not going to cost the city any money, and they have already provided the cost for that."

Once the lights are removed from the median, they will be placed near Singing River Mall. The city also plans to put about 100 new lights on both the north and south sides of the downtown district.

"Now we are starting to see some of the work coming out of the ground, and the lights will be replaced in the median with about five foot taller lights," said Reeves.

That's great news for drivers who are happy to finally see some progress.

"It will be good, and you can see at night, and you won't be scared to drive at night," Covington said.

The new lights should be shining brightly by April. Reeves said the city will use grant funding to pay for the new lights going up on both sides of the highway.

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