By Liz Tenney Jarvis.
Lovettsville’s renovation of its main street, Broad Way, came to dramatic completion on Friday night, Mar. 11. Dominion Power turned off the standard-issue “Cobra” street lights so that the new ones could be illuminated in grand fashion. Mayor Robert Zoldos and a small crowd gathered in front of Mad Horse Brewpub before walking several feet to a giant-sized, glowing flip switch. It was a celebration after months of construction, and with a final countdown, several local children threw the switch. It took a moment, but when the lights came on, the crowd cheered along with residents on their porches all along Broad Way. In an instant, gone was the yellowish pall cast by former lighting; in its place is now a warm glow reminiscent of old fashioned days”perhaps as one would imagine the lighting on the streets of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
With regards to the East Broad Way streetscape project, Mayor Zoldos said, “The Town Council really stepped up, put their foot on the accelerator and made this happen. They really pushed hard.” Zoldos emphasized that the residents had put up with quite a lot of construction over many months, and it was his hope that the end results (better lighting, sidewalks, flooding elimination) made it all worth the effort.
In order to address the street light design and implementation, a committee was initially formed to include members of the planning commission, town council, the mayor, town staff, and Patricia Rostkowski who was brought in as part of the “Dark Skies” initiative, which focuses on the reduction of light pollution. It was important that residents have safe and effective street lighting but still be able to see the mountains and the stars.Â “We worked really hard, meeting with the light manufacturer, and the committee; We spent months really, in order to get the right look, not a fake antique look but something that fit the town, and what we achieved was not just that it was light on the street but not up in the air,” said Zoldos. The committee made a quick study of all that street lighting entails: There were so many pieces to it, the light itself is made up of four components – the base, the shaft, the arm, then the light – then there is the lamp itself, the temperature of the bulb, the shape of the beam, there was so much to it!”
"The plan going forward is to have that light, or something similar, be the iconic town light. They will be around town center more of a commercial model, but still in keeping with the idea of making the town feel," according to Mayor Zoldos, like “a pretty cool little downtown.” Phase II will be the next project, and the Town hopes that “the lighting will connect the old part of town with the new part of town perfectly.”
Looking around at the soft pools of light all the way up the street it is a wonderful life.