Busted lights make for dark streets in Victoria

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Jan. 27, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 26, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.

Victoria is dark.

Virginia Powell, a lifelong resident, has pushed for 20 years to get the city to turn on the lights along North Navarro Street.

"Not only does it impact myself, but the whole city," Powell, 64, said.

She has taken to counting the unlit lights - there's 28 out on Loop 463 from East High School to Cuero Highway, she said.

"Why are we paying for these street lights to be put up if they're not going to burn?" she asked.

City spokesman O.C. Garza said a break in the underground power line, which connects the lights, is the culprit.

That cannot be repaired without first boring a hole to find the break, Garza said. The city is in the process of getting a bid to repair the power.

The city maintains the lights through an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Garza was uncertain how long the lights have been out but said they were "broken for a while."

Powell said 20 years ago the reasoning to the dark lights was a short in the underground wiring.

"I think the city is just not being diligent in making sure our street lights are replaced within a fairly good amount of time," she said. "It's just dark everywhere."

Elgin Janssen, a spokesman for AEP, said from his experience, along the North Navarro corridor, spanning from Airline Road to the Northcrest subdivision, there is not much traffic at night.

"I'm sure if there's a street light out, most people don't notice it," he said. "There's still ample light on the roadway."

Powell said motorists are relying on businesses' parking lot lights and their own headlamps to make a safe and clear trip.

"I'd like to see this town lit up a little more," she said.



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