New street lamps put crowning touch on utility conversion project

A portion of Ortega Boulevard, from Verona Avenue to Robert Gordon Drive, and Morven Road are sporting new street lamps, thanks to efforts by residents in the area.

Working with the Jacksonville Energy Authority, which provided the material and labor for each light installation and for associated cable runs, neighbors kicked in to pay for the lights as part of the community-led project to convert overhead power lines to underground. Preston Haskell and Anne Hicks are two of the community leaders who began working out the conversion nearly 20 years ago.

“The community provided the conduit and directional drilling labor necessary for each lighting conduit (130 foot spans),” said Gerri Boyce, JEA media relations coordinator. “The community provided the concrete lighting base, the labor for lighting base installation, and also installed the secondary service box, provided by JEA, from which each lighting conduit terminates.”

The project, which began in early February, is part of the rebuilding and upgrading of the JEA substation at the corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and Verona Avenue. It is complete except for a few remaining poles to be pulled once vacated by Comcast and AT&T, according to Boyce.

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