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New decorative lights installed in Canton’s downtown; street work progressing

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A new set of decorative lights, valued at $150,000, is being installed along downtown’s Main Street as crews continue to make progress on the first phase of the $9.55 million Route 11 reconstruction project.

Thirty vintage-style light fixtures, at a cost of $5,000 each, are being installed by crews from Stilsing Electric, Rensselaer, the subcontractor hired by general contractor Luck Bros. Inc., Plattsburgh.

Thomas A. Maroun Jr., project engineer for the state Department of Transportation, said installation of the lights should be finished by Wednesday, but it’s uncertain whether they will be functioning before Friday’s Holiday of Lights celebration in the village park.

Mr. Maroun said National Grid has been contacted about activating the lights, but the company’s crews are busy in the Long Island area restoring power knocked out by Superstorm Sandy.

Also, the lights will be powered by two different electrical circuits and have to be inspected before they are allowed to operate. The new LED lights are supposed to be more energy efficient and have a longer life span than the former incandescent lights.

The 15-foot-high fixtures look similar to the 26 vintage-style cast iron poles that were removed in June to make way for the street work. The new ones are made of aluminum and were manufactured by Holophane, Grantville, Ohio.

“At this point we are doing our best and can’t promise the lights will be up and powered by Nov. 23, but every effort is being made,” DOT spokesman Michael R. Flick said in an email. “The winter shutdown will depend on the weather and the remaining work.”

Village Superintendent Brien E. Hallahan said the old poles are being stored securely and eventually will be installed at different places within the village. Three are planned for the Pearl Street Park across from the St. Lawrence County Courthouse.

“Some people have expressed different ideas, but we haven’t really elaborated on the plan,” Mr. Hallahan said. “We will be doing something with them.”

Some concerns have been raised about the new granite curbing being destructive to vehicle tires that rub against it.

Mr. Hallahan said the previous curbs also were made of granite, which is supposed to be the most durable material.

“The DOT just replaced what was already there,” he said.

Last week, crews from Syrstone Inc., Syracuse, started laying brick on the street side section of the sidewalks. The new concrete sidewalks are nearly finished in the downtown section. The metal stairwells will be replaced next spring.

The second phase involves reconstructing Main Street from the village park to the intersection of Stiles Avenue, upgrading the CSX railroad crossing and constructing a cul-de-sac on Jay Street. Replacing underground water and sewer pipes and installing new storm drainage along the 1.1-mile stretch are major components of the two-year project.

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