The installation took place on Phase 5, the stretch of Greenway between Tinsley Park and Raider Drive. The lights will illuminate the former Tinsley Park trail, which for the last 25 years has been dimly lit by a few street lights on telephone poles every 100 yards or so. Last week’s installation included poles as close as on the rest of the Greenway, making the trail a much more enjoyable and secure asset for our community.
Last month, Cleveland Utilities set lights on Phase 4 between Mohawk Drive and Tinsley Park. As we have discussed in this column before, a quarter-mile section of Greenway stood by itself for years between Mohawk and Paul Huff Parkway, waiting on Phase 4 to connect. In December 2010, the ribbon was cut on Phase 4 completing the connection from Mohawk to Tinsley. But until last month, once dusk rolled in, Phase 4 was too dark to enjoy.
The new lights are an improved variation from what has been installed previously on the Greenway. They emit a whiter and brighter light and are significantly more efficient, saving on future energy costs.
On both Phase 4 and 5, lights were not part of the original funding plan. Grants received, both locally and from the state of Tennessee, were to get the Greenway on the ground. Lighting the path was a secondary concern. However, without lights the Greenway was essentially useless once the sun went down. And as we all know, between October and March, that would have meant a pitch black Greenway for the two miles between Raider and Mohawk Drives from 5 p.m. until sunrise.
Due to the foresight of both our city and county leaders, a joint funding plan has made lights on Phase 4 a reality. They have been thanked before in an article in the Cleveland Daily Banner, but they deserve another heap of thanks here for making Phase 4 usable 24/7 all year long.
When Greenway officials traveled to Nashville in 2008 to accept a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) grant for Phase 5, the funding did not include lights for the project which began at the pedestrian bridge over Mouse Creek at Tinsley Park, south to the underpass at Raider Drive. In the years between awarding of the grant until bids were let, costs for construction and materials had come down enough that the winning bid had residual to allow for the purchase and installation of lights to make for a completely lit Greenway for 3.9 miles from Mohawk Drive to the current terminus at Willow Street.
Everyone is grateful for the completion of both Phases 4 and 5, but in my mind neither project would have been finished without lights. Thanks to the city, county, and the contractor on Phase 5, Caldwell Paving. They have helped “light the way” for all of us to enjoy our Greenway to the fullest.