Downtown Riverhead comes back to light

Riverhead buildings and grounds personnel has started changing about 150 light bulbs in all the street lamps that dot downtown’s Main Street.

Town engineer Ken Testa, who heads the department, said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter directed his staff to address the light situation after a rough winter blew out more than the usual number of bulbs.

“There are 70 light poles on Main Street and 4,000 lights townwide, so you’re always going to have some out,” Mr. Testa said. “But because of the extreme winter we had, there was a lot of snow plowing, which causes vibrations, and we had almost double the amount of lights out this spring as we usually do.”

He said downtown businesses owners have complained about the high number of blown bulbs and Mr. Walter asked him to redirect his priorities to get the lights fixed this year.

Instead of simply looking for lights that are out and replacing them, the department will instead replace all of them, starting this week and continuing into next week, Mr. Tests said.

“Normally, you replace 10 and by the time you’re done, 10 more are out,” he said. “We’re hoping this will last a year.”

The bulbs cost about $10 apiece and the crews should be able to change bulbs in about 20 poles a day, he said. There are two lights out on Peconic Avenue because an underground line was broken during the construction at Grangebel Park, but that line will be repaired as well, Mr. Testa said.

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