QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. yesterday announced the start of the installation of a series of street lights along Merrick Boulevard that will greatly enhance the illumination of this major thoroughfare in southeast Queens.

The 120 lighting units will dramatically improve the lighting along a 1.2 mile stretch of Merrick Boulevard between Springfield Boulevard and 242nd Street in Laurelton. For many years this stretch of roadway was poorly lit thanks to the prevalence of old, low-quality lighting fixtures. Also, parts of Merrick Boulevard did not have any lighting fixtures at all until this series of street lights began to be installed.

The new streetlights are being installed using the $1.188 million in funding that then-City Councilmember Richards allocated for the project in City’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.  

“The Laurelton community has long said ‘let there be light’ along Merrick Boulevard, and thankfully the installation of these street lights is making this wish come true,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “The new lighting along Merrick Boulevard will put an end to the poor lighting that negatively impacted pedestrian and vehicular safety along this busy roadway. Everyone who walks, bikes, drives or rides along Merrick Boulevard will have a safer, more pleasant, and literally brighter experience thanks to these new street lights. Thank you to the New York City Department of Transportation for its great work in installing these lights.”

“We are grateful to Borough President Richards, who funded these beautiful and distinctive new lamp poles along Merrick Blvd as a Council Member and to Community Board 13 and local residents who supported this effort,” said NICOLE GARCIA, NYC Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner. “The energy-efficient LED lighting enhances safety and improves the streetscape and quality of life for all who use the corridor.”

As part of this upgrade of Merrick Boulevard’s lighting, several dozen decorative TBTA (Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority) poles are being installed. TBTA poles were introduced in the 1950s for mid-twentieth-century bridge construction projects such as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly the Triboro Bridge). The TBTA pole replaced wooden lampposts that lit parkways during the 1920s and ’30s. The Teardrop and Shielded Teardrop lighting units on these poles combine with the old-fashioned look of the poles themselves to produce a historic-looking aesthetic.

The 120 lighting units, 81 which have already installed, also feature energy-efficient LEDs, which will help the City conserve energy and save money on maintenance costs.