The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is accepting contractor bids for new street lighting in the Tenderloin, with the goal of increasing pedestrian safety and beautifying the neighborhood.
The project, estimated to cost $2.5 million, will be funded by a community benefit grant associated with the California Pacific Medical Center, which is currently under construction at Van Ness and Geary. The scope of work will involve removing old light fixtures and installing new ones, while simultaneously ensuring each corner retains adequate street lighting throughout the construction process.
The contractor will also be responsible for refurbishing some existing light fixtures, and fully refinishing the sidewalks around the light fixtures after they're installed. Once the contract is awarded, the winning bidder will have just under a year to complete the project.
The city is spending about $900,000 to buy the light fixtures, and covering other soft costs as well, said Charles Sheehan, spokesman for the SFPUC. As we reported last year, the SFPUC conducted years of public outreach to select the winning design for the light posts.
Each post will be 22 feet tall, and feature two arms holding teardrop-shaped lights: one to illuminate the street and the second focused on the sidewalk. Examples of the new fixtures can currently be seen on the 100 block of Golden Gate Street, the 100 through 500 blocks of Taylor Street, and the 100 block of Sixth Street.
The new lights were initially intended to be installed in 2016, but since the Tenderloin has some of the oldest street light circuits in San Francisco, the SFPUC applied to PG&E to have its electric service connections upgraded first, Sheehan said.
“More than one year later, only six of the required ten PG&E service connections contracts have been provided to the SFPUC,” Sheehan said. “PG&E controls the electricity grid in the city, and we can’t proceed without these new connections.”
Nonetheless, Sheehan said, construction is expected to begin in the spring, as contractors will be able to start work on the project before all of the interconnections are completed.
“Residents will start to see the first newly illuminated blocks by summer of 2017, with the project construction complete by the end of 2017,” he said.
The 80 new fixtures will be installed on the north and south corners of Larkin, Hyde, Leavenworth and Jones streets between O’Farrell and McAllister, as well as where Eddy Street intersects Taylor and Mason streets. If funding allows, the scope of the project may be expanded to include Larkin between O’Farrell and Geary, and Charles J. Brenham Place between Market and McAllister.
The SFPUC has not identified any additional funding to expand the footprint of the project at this time, Sheehan said, but all of the lights in the neighborhood that aren't replaced with decorative lights will be included in the citywide LED Street Light Conversion Project.
The agency is accepting contractor bids for the project through December 22nd. We'll keep you posted on when it will get underway.