Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lighting Protects Motorists near Track

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lighting Protects Motorists near Track

Article excerpt

Nine new street lights have been installed in front of the St.

Johns Greyhound Park race track on Race Track Road in an effort

to make the curving road safer.

The Jacksonville Electric Authority footed the bill for the

lights after track officials and St. Johns County Commissioner

Pal Howell asked for them to make the road safer.

The new lights were among three road projects done in Northwest

St. Johns County this month. An experimental paving process has

given the residents of one Fruit Cove neighborhood a new road

after years of dirt, while the county is wrapping up work to

strengthen the Durbin Creek Bridge.

The new lights were needed because speeding cars often come

around the curves east and west of the track unaware that there

is a dog track there, said Howell.

"There were no lights along in front of the race track, and our

deputies are standing out there with a little flashlight in

total darkness, and I was afraid they were going to get run

over," Howell said. "I got with JEA and found out how much it

would cost. They said we would need nine street lights."

And the new lights will be useful now that track use will

increase starting May 1 as the track begins broadcasting horse

and greyhound racing events from other tracks in the country,

said track president Howard Korman.

"We have been very concerned for the deputies' safety when they

are out there controlling traffic when we open and close,"

Korman said. "With the increased traffic and increased usage, it

was even more important that the part of Race Track Road be made

safer."

The new street lights were installed April 11 on existing

telephone poles at a cost of about $500 per light, said JEA

spokesman Clyde Montgomery. The only cost St. Johns County will

bear is the estimated $65 a month electric bill.

Meanwhile, the St. Johns County Road and Bridges Department is

nearing completion of two new road projects just east of the

track.

The county began adding new support beams to the Durbin Creek

Bridge on Race Track Road in late March, at a cost of $88,000. …

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