The number of light poles in a Walton Way street lighting project is increasing.

The decorative poles, a Trans­portation Investment Act-funded project, are being installed along the Augusta road between Bransford Road and 15th Street.

After the project was designed and started, however, Engineering Director Abie Ladson said contractors encountered obstacles – existing utility lines and trees.

 “In order to resolve encountered conflicts, lighting design was modified,” reads the agenda item going before commissioners today. “To maintain illumination spread per applicable standards, modified design resulted in increase in lighting pole density.”

That translates into the department’s decision to swap out 64 of the 32.5-foot poles planned for the section of road with 134 shorter 12-foot poles with dimmer lights, according to Ladson.

The change brings from 153 to 187 the number of 12-foot fixtures being installed between Bransford and Milledge roads, according to the meeting agenda item.

It adds 100 of the shorter light poles between Milledge and 15th Street, replacing 62 of the taller fixtures planned there.

All told, there will be 287 of the 12-foot poles illuminating the three-mile section, spaced based on photometric calculations, Ladson

The change is the second time Augusta has requested lower-wattage lights that have increased the number of fixtures used in a transportation sales tax project.

The city’s request for 150-watt fixtures on the River Watch Park­way project to match downtown lighting and avoid light escaping resulted in the current 200 fixtures spanning the seven-mile section.

The Walton Way changes add $381,446 to the project, bringing its new total for lighting to $2.8 million, a figure going before an Augusta Commission committee today.

The lights are part of the larger project called “Signal Modernization Walton Way” that is also replacing traffic signals and installing fiber optic connectivity along the section of road. Transportation Investment Act documents place the total project cost at around $7.6 million.

-Susan McCord  

Staff Writter, Augusta Chronicle