On Friday, streetlights began being installed along the 3.4-mile stretch of McLoughlin Boulevard in unincorporated Clackamas County between the cities of Milwaukie and Gladstone.
Portland General Electric began installing lights on May 5 on the west side of the street, adding lighting arms and lights to existing wooden poles. Installation on the east side of the street will begin this fall.
In 2015, the McLoughlin Area Business Alliance (MABA) and McLoughlin Area Plan Implementation Team (MAP-IT) encouraged property owners along McLoughlin Boulevard to join Clackamas County Service District No. 5 so that streetlights could be added to this relatively dark stretch of highway. Advocates pointed out that street lighting can deter crime and vandalism; help emergency response agencies identify property addresses more rapidly; aid neighborhood watch teams; make it easier to find an entrance or driveway at night; and make a community safer, and more friendly and accessible to pedestrians after dark.
"Even though the process seemed to bog down many times, the committee members patiently called, met or emailed on a regular basis to nudge the process along until plans were issued and numbers were crunched," said Terry John Gibson, the Streetscape Sub-Committee chair of MAP-IT, where he is vice chair.
After a successful petition drive achieving more than 60 percent of the property owners along McLooughlin, the county service district worked with PGE and the Oregon Department of Transportation to design plans to install the lights.
Installation of lights on the east side of McLoughlin will be more expensive and complex, because there are no poles there now. Contractors will install underground conduits, as well as aluminum light poles, junction boxes and vaults. Eastside work is expected to begin in November and be completed by March 2018.
With refreshments donated by the Bomber Restaurant and the MABA, come celebrate the lighting of McLoughlin from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, in front of the Elks Lodge. More information about the project is available at clackamas.us/engineering/mcloughlin.html.