Temporary lights installed on 48th Avenue

By Hannah Lentz | 10/12/16 8:52pm

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Over the weekend, six temporary lighting towers were installed on 48th Avenue after recommendations from the greater Grand Valley State University community to enhance the lighting by off-campus apartments. Following much discussion about how to prevent sexual assault, GVSU has partnered with Consumers Energy to put up six lighting towers between Pierce Street and Lake Michigan Drive.

Three additional towers are also planned for installation near the bus stop on Pierce Street across from Copper Beech Townhouses and near two bus stops on West Campus Drive near Campus West Apartments. Consumers Energy and GVSU will share costs of the temporary towers.

Though the stretch on 48th Avenue near the majority of off-campus apartment's is not GVSU's property, the university feels as though this is an important addition to our greater community, said Tim Thimmesch, associate vice president for Facilities Services.

"This will enhance the safety and security of our students living west of this roadway," Thimmesch said. "The university is very concerned about our students living in these off-campus complexes and took the lead to initiate this interim lighting installation."

GVSU and Consumers Energy have agreed to split the cost for the light towers that are currently in place. The lights set in place are being checked daily for maintenance and security reasons.

"Consumers Energy has also shared with me that they intend to have temporary street lights mounted soon, and this will hopefully alleviate the need for the light towers that are now in place," Thimmesch said.

There is not a specific time frame yet for a permanent lighting solution on 48th Avenue, as Consumers Energy and Allendale Township are working to finalize that project, Thimmesch said. Total costs have also not been determined.

"Consumers will actually install some temporary light fixtures on the power poles on 48th (Avenue)," Thimmesch said. "When this is completed, we will be able to remove the portable units that are now in place."

Allendale Township will continue to work with Consumers Energy to finalize the costs behind permanent fixtures and what is needed for installation. Until then, the temporary fixtures will continue to function as placeholders.

"The lights are great, but the credit should go to GVSU," said Jerry Alkema, Allendale Township supervisor. "Tim Thimmesch and President (Thomas) Haas had the pull to make it happen. Consumers Energy will have a design soon and we will hopefully have permanent lights shortly."

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