New lights mean brighter nights along Bald Eagle Drive for Marco Islanders

Newly installed light poles line both sides of Bald Eagle Drive from Collier Boulevard to Barfield Drive. The lights are expected to become operative as soon as LCEC provides power to them. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Newly installed light poles line both sides of Bald Eagle Drive from Collier Boulevard to Barfield Drive. The lights are expected to become operative as soon as LCEC provides power to them. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Restaurateur Arturo Perez is pleased to have new lights at the entrance of his business and believes it will help people when they arrive to dine at his restaurant. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Restaurateur Arturo Perez is pleased to have new lights at the entrance of his business and believes it will help people when they arrive to dine at his restaurant. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

New light poles on Bald Eagle Drive up to Barfield Drive are a similar style to those on Collier Boulevard. From Barfield Drive north to Palm Street and on Palm Street to the Olde Marco Inn & Suites, poles will be made of aluminum. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

New light poles on Bald Eagle Drive up to Barfield Drive are a similar style to those on Collier Boulevard. From Barfield Drive north to Palm Street and on Palm Street to the Olde Marco Inn & Suites, poles will be made of aluminum. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

— Installing new street lights on Bald Eagle Drive is a win-win for businesses and residents.

“The street is very dark, and in the summer when there are fewer people here, it is difficult to find the parking lot where you are going,” said Arturo Perez, owner of Arturo’s Italian Restaurant at 844 Bald Eagle Drive.

Perez said the new street lights will make finding his business easier for his customers.

Marco Island has a signage ordinance, so increasing the size of his business sign is not an option.

Tim Pinter, Marco Island’s public works director, said his department has already installed a series of lights in the business district on Bald Eagle Drive from Collier Boulevard to Barfield Drive. Plans are to install streetlights north past Pier 81 to Palm Street and then west on Palm Street to the Olde Marco Inn & Suites.

In the stretch already completed, streetlight poles resemble the concrete green poles used on Collier Boulevard. Remaining roadways will be lighted with less expensive aluminum poles, Pinter said.

In the winter when early mornings are darkest, passengers going by boat to Key West from Marco Island must cross Bald Eagle Drive at Rose Marina. The Marina’s lot for extended parking is across the street from its docks. New lighting will make the area safer for pedestrians.

Public Works is installing the poles at the request of Marco Island City Council that approved the expenditure in its fiscal 2011 budget. Council responded to requests from residents in the area to upgrade lighting after the area proved dangerous.

“We had a fatality on that street and some residents in condos were concerned about the lack of lights,” said Jerry Gibson, chairman of Marco Island’s City Council. “They were looking for safety particularly in the evenings when crossing the road.”

Over the years, the area has been the site of numerous automobile accidents. In a 2009 police study, the island’s most likely area for crashes was within a quarter mile of the Bald Eagle Drive and Collier Boulevard intersection including adjacent parking lots.

Lights in the completed section will be in service as soon as Lee County Electric Cooperative is able to provide power to them, Pinter said.

Installation of poles on the remaining stretch of Bald Eagle Drive and Palm Street will take about two months. There should be no road closures during installation as much of the work will be done in the swales, Pinter said. However, some minor detours around equipment might be necessary.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 8

Throat_Yogurt writes:

I'LL TAKE IT ROAD QUALITY IS NOT A CONCERN FOR THE CITY COUNSEL. BALD EAGLE DR. IS WORSE TO DRIVE ON THAN A DIRT ROAD

marco97 writes:

It would make sense if you took the lights from Collier that are not being used and moved them to Bald Eagle, but I guess whosoever relative sells the light pole would not make any money that way.
Good job City.

34145 writes:

It was interesting to watch the trenching for the wiring being done by hand. Why was this work completed manually by 3-4 men with shovels? Was there excess money in the City coffers?? When was this work approved and by whom? I would like to hear Mr. Pinter's response to these questions in a public format. Additionally, I am hopeful Marco News is bold enough to ask for these same answers and print them.
Thank you.

GrannySchmidt writes:

And why not upgrade the lighting in the Bald Eagle/San Marco Rd. area where there have been several attacks on women? Has this area not "proved dangerous"? REFRESHER:10/20/2011 Marco Island Police Department is investigating a battery complaint that is alleged to have occurred between the hours of 10:45pm and 12:00am, on Saturday, October 1st. The female victim believes the incident occurred in the area of Balfour Drive and San Marco Road. The victim/reporter indicated she traveled on foot from the 500 block of Bald Eagle Drive to San Marco Road and then traveled east to Balfour Drive. The victim/reporter indicated she was walking east on San Marco Road when she was approached by two males.

captnjimbo writes:

What about the eagles?

NobodysFool57 writes:

"...residents in condos were concerned..." said Jerry Gibson. Planning on running for re-election next year Jerry? On behalf of single-family homeowners, thank you for tipping your hand as to where your loyalties lie.

kevdiaz69 writes:

What a waaste off F...ing money....starting to look like Miami South Beach...what a joke our island has become,not to mention the black police cruisers

happy34145 writes:

remove every other light from Collier blvd.(a.k.a the tanning bed) and put them on Bald Eagle..but then again Marco97 has hit the nail on the head.

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