Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayport Getting Streetlights; Long-Delayed Project Finally under Way

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayport Getting Streetlights; Long-Delayed Project Finally under Way

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

After months of bureaucratic delays, workers began installing 66 decorative streetlights along Mayport village's main street last week.

Members of the Mayport Waterfront Partnership, an organization composed of civic, business and community leaders working to improve the aesthetics of the village and Mayport Road, expressed frustration that the work had not begun even though the project's permits had been approved in February. JEA, Jacksonville's main utility provider, is working on the job.

"The [Mayport Waterfront Partnership] board was a little upset how it took so long," said Ed Lukacovic, project manager for the Waterfront Partnership. "In June, we had a meeting with JEA, the board and the project's engineers. JEA promised a shovel by Oct. 1 and nothing happened."

JEA spokesman Ron Whittington said the delay was due to internal procurement issues.

The $1.5 million project will replace overhead power lines with underground lines along the 1-mile stretch on Florida A1A from the Coast Guard station to the commercial buildings just beyond the Mayport ferry slip. As part of the project, underground electrical line connections will be made to businesses along the road and 66 wrought iron historical-style lights will be placed on the road, called Ocean Street in the village.

The partnership paid about $66,000 to purchase the streetlights, while JEA is funding the remainder of the project.

The work is being done by the Jacksonville-based contractor C&C Powerline and will conclude in April. The contractor has agreed to meet with partnership members to give them monthly updates on the work.

Whittington said the village's residential areas will continue to have overhead power lines and the work will have a minimal effect on traffic along the road.

In 2000, JEA installed water and sewer lines along Ocean Street and placed the electrical conduits needed for the underground power lines. At that time, the partnership wanted to install the streetlights but was stalled by the permitting process.

Then for two years, the project was juggled between the Florida Department of Transportation and JEA. …

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