replace the existing system with a new, identical one would contribute little to the effort to improve the overall competitiveness of the Square as a commercial center.
As part streetscape guidelines developed as part of the Busy Bend Design Study, and incorporated into the final revitalization Plan, the WRA and the Downtown Committee selected the Washington Postlight Series manufactured by Holophane Outdoor Architectural Lighting, Inc.
The pole is a cast iron, Hamilton Series 12 foot pole from the same manufacturer. Since the installation of new lighting requires the excavation of a 24 inch wide trench along the sidewalk edge for the installation of electrical conduit, the streetscape program uses the opportunity to install a 24 inch decorative brick sidewalk trim once the trench is back-filled.
This decision preserved the existing concrete sidewalks, which were only about seven years old and still in good condition, while introducing just enough brick detailing to improve visual impact.
As a pilot effort, the proposed streetscape program was installed along the Busy Bend, the downtown block between Montvale Avenue and Walnut Street, including new lighting, sidewalk treatment, curb extensions, benches and tree plantings in the Fall of 2000. Included in this program were ten of the proposed Holophane period streetlights.
The results of this pilot test were well received by the public, and the WRA began working on a grant application to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) CDBG Ready Resource Fund to finance the installation of the new street lighting equipment throughout the rest of Woburn Square.
For the preparation of the RRF application, the City Engineering Department inspected each of the 24 poles and fixtures in the Woburn Square Revitalization Area, to determine its condition. A total of 12 poles, or 50 percent, were found to have structural or foundation failures. Another two poles were found to be in failure because of location impediments.
Also as part of the RRF Application, the Woburn Redevelopment Authority retained the engineering firm of Fay, Spoffard, and Thorndike (FST) to complete a lighting analysis of the Woburn Square Revitalization Area, to review the existing system and the in-house analysis, and propose an alternative design which would meet current engineering design standards.
Based upon that review, FST determined that the existing system, assuming fully functional 250 watt lamps, would meet engineering standards for average luminance, but the ratio of average to minimum luminance, the ratio between the brightest and darkest areas, was six times greater that the recommended ratio.
According to FST, “the existing conditions yielded an unacceptable lack of uniformity, bright spots and dark areas, affecting visibility in the dark areas.” FST considered a number of alternatives, including spacing at both 60 and 80 feet, with lamps of 100 and 150 watts. Based upon their analysis, FST proposed using 100-Watt fixtures spaced at 60 feet, with 150 watt fixtures at the major intersections. According to the report, “This lighting system provides a safe, uniform, inviting illumination…”
The RRF grant was approved by DHCD in January, 2002, and the new street lighting fixtures were installed by the Woburn Department of Public Works during the fall of 2003.
RRF Hearing Brochure