Jonathan Moore Pike lights to be checked

An outside firm will evaluate street lights along Jonathan Moore Pike on the city’s west side to determine if upgrades are needed.

The Columbus Board of Works approved a request Tuesday from Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer, to allow Duke Energy One to evaluate the lights. The firm is an unregulated entity tied to Duke Energy, Hayward said.

The study is being done without cost to the city, Hayward said.

When the city created its Front Door project on the west side in the 1990s, officials wanted the corridor to have lights, Hayward said. In addition to the roadway, a section of the People Trail goes from downtown Columbus along Jonathan Moore Pike to the west side, including tunnels under the Interstate 65 interchange.

In the original agreement, the city and the Indiana Department of Transportation agreed to install the lighting that is in place now, with the city assigned responsibility for the ownership, power and maintenance of the lights.

Some of the street lights are nearly 25 years old and are requiring maintenance in addition to being less energy efficient than a newer street light, Hayward said.

The city has periodically contracted with private firms to maintain the street lights and has had Duke Energy do maintenance work, Hayward said.

The study could recommend that the city change out the street light bulbs to LED lights, which are more energy efficient, Hayward said.

Board of works members also approved a service agreement with Duke Energy One to do some maintenance on the lights, estimated to cost the city less than $5,000. Hayward said the final amount for the cost will be determined when the company provides the city with the evaluation of the condition of the lights along the corridor.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or