Shedding Light on Roadways Countywide

The PUD owns and maintains more than 1,000 streetlights across the county.

PUD line crew and dirt work contractors work to place a streetlight beside the new Kearney Street roundabout in PT.

Kearney Street/SR20 Roundabout

Placing streetlights can be a delicate task.

The ground shook as the massive vac truck whirred to life. A heavy steel telescopic arm extended from the center of the truck, dangling a pliable end just inches off the ground. The whirring sound increased as rocks, dirt, and anything not bolted down was pulled into the vacuum, clunking and pinging into the steel container.

The telescopic arm pressed gently downward revealing layer upon layer of earth as it made a 12″ diameter hole beside State Route 20.

Edges of a roadway often act (both above and below the ground) as a utility pathway for water, sewer, power, and broadband services. Great care is taken during construction to place lighting accurately, while avoiding potential hazards underground. PUD staff work closely with project partners, like WSDOT on the Kearney Street/SR20 roundabout, to design lighting for each project.

PUD line crew feeding wire through the new pole before installation.

As the vac truck works in the distance, PUD line crew assemble 12 steel light poles destined to illuminate the area.

Each pole features an programmable LED light. LED lights use less energy than conventional bulbs, and some even offer directional lighting. New light poles, which are heavy-duty enough to withstand the elements, are engineered to bend should they ever be contacted by a vehicle.

Power is routed from nearby underground vaults into each pole. The pole is placed in the completed hole, and backfill is added and compacting to secure it in place.

Each lighting project requires a unique approach. The PUD plays a role in many installations such as the Cedar Ave pedestrian safety corridor in Hadlock, classical lighting in the downtown PT area, and future Discovery Rd bikeway and sidewalk project. 

Questions about streetlights? You can report streetlight issues online by clicking the Tree & PUD Services button on jeffpud.org.

PUD line crew use a derrick digger truck to hoist a new light pole safely into position.

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