Tenderloin dwellers eager for new street and sidewalk lights are waiting longer than expected for things to brighten up.
We reported in December that a contractor to complete a $2.5 million lighting project in the Tenderloin would be selected early this year. But an unsatisfactory bid forced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to rebid the project last week, and it's hoping to receive a qualifying bid this time.
“We received one bid for the contract. It was not responsive to the city’s request. Certain criteria specified in the bid were not met,” SFPUC spokesman Charles Sheehan told us. The agency worked with the one respondent to try to resolve the issues with their bid, but it still has to be rebid, he added.
Many in the community voiced strong support for the project during the years of public comment the SFPUC conducted to select the proper light fixtures and locations. The aim is to make the streets safer for pedestrians by having lamps with two arms—one to illuminate the sidewalk, and the other to light the road.
There have been no changes to the request for bids. The project would install 80 new fixtures 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.
In the meantime, at least, PG&E has been making progress replacing some of the oldest street light circuits in the city, which need to be upgraded before the new fixtures can be installed in the neighborhood. This had led to earlier delays in the project, which had initially been expected to be complete by the end of 2016.
“We are making progress with the PG&E upgrades, there should not be any more delays as it relates to the PG&E upgrades,” Sheehan said.
But until a qualified contractor comes forward to do the work, the project cannot move forward.
Bids this time around are due to the SFPUC by 2pm on Thursday, January 26th. We will keep you updated on the project's progress.