Who’s supposed to deal with dark street lights?


The in basket: James Zamudio wrote in November to say the street light on the Burley/Olalla entrance on Highway 16 going towards Port Orchard had been out for over six months.

I also have heard from a reader or two over a couple of years about a street light on Highway 3 at Lake Flora Road being out.

Over the years I’ve been doing Road Warrior, I have never understood the relationship between governments and power companies regarding darkened street lights, or navigational lights on bridges, and who is responsible for dealing with them. I asked Claudia Bingham Baker of the state Department of Transportation about it.

The out basket: “We work on a courtesy basis with other jurisdictions.” Claudia said, “in that if we notice their luminaires are out, we will contact them to let them know. “That is the case with the Lake Flora luminaire, which is not in our jurisdiction. Our signal folks will try to determine who maintains that luminaire and let them know it needs maintenance.

“The Burley Olalla luminaire should be within our jurisdiction, and a signal maintenance crew will be sent to the site to relamp the luminaire.

“We perform preventive maintenance on the electrical service to each highway luminaire every year, during which we turn the lamps on to verify they are working. “Every four years we relamp all luminaires as part of our ongoing highway maintenance.  If a lamp goes out in-between electrical maintenance service, we may not notice for a while and appreciate it when motorists let us know.”

I guess the Road Warrior served that purpose in September when I told Claudia that the street lights along a good stretch of the old Tacoma Narrows Bridge were out in the westbound direction, and might have been for weeks. She thanked me, said they had been unaware of the problem and would fix it.

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