Wilson Road and a few other nearby locations in Walker County will soon be lined with light. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield and Sheriff Steve Wilson unveiled the county’s first community street light project today, following a grassroots effort to improve public safety in northern Walker County.
The county contracted with EPB to install 110 street lights along Wilson Road and sections of Happy Valley Road, James Street and Glentana Street. The public safety enhancement will cost Walker County about $1,000 a month and includes installation and maintenance. The LED lights will illuminate nearly 3.7 miles of heavily traveled roads where people live, work, shop and attend school.
“The recently released audit verified Walker County’s financial position continues to strengthen, putting us in a position to make modest investments in public safety initiatives,” said Whitfield. “It has been a pleasure working with David Roden and the Wilson Road Neighborhood Group to address public safety concerns in their community. Public safety will continue to be one of our top priorities as we move Walker County forward.”
Sheriff Wilson and his staff reviewed crime, traffic and other data before recommending the Wilson Road corridor as the best location to receive additional resources. “We have a lot of people who live in this area who may not have the means to drive, so walking to a store or somewhere else is their only means of transportation,” said Sheriff Wilson. “This will certainly enhance the safety of pedestrians and improve our crime stats, because the lights will illuminate the entire roadway.”
The community street light project will also directly benefit students, parents and teachers traveling to and from Rossville Elementary and Stone Creek Elementary Schools. The lights will be photo-cell activated, so they will turn off and on automatically with the sun. The paving of Happy Valley Road from Battlefield Parkway to James Street this summer will provide an additional complement to this project.
EPB started installing the new street lights last week along Happy Valley Road, with a goal of having a majority of the lights up and operational by the end of July. This marks the third public safety enhancement covered under the fiscal 2020 budget, following the planned reopening of Fire Station 7 in Fairview and fully funding the Sheriff’s Office budget.