East Main Street lights will be lit tonight

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 2, 2007

A lighting ceremony will be held at 9:30 p.m. today at Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services for the new street lights on East Main Street. It will be hosted by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

Albert Lea is pleased to announce that the East Main Street lighting project is complete. Albert Lea has been working with Alliant Energy, Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services, Display Sales, local lighting designer Alex Friend of Emphasis Lighting, the Chamber of Commerce, and Terry Roth of Fresco Sales to determine the type of poles, fixtures, their design and placement and how the banners would be designed.

&8220;In addition to the basics of having enough light, appropriate uniformity and minimal maintenance, we also considered important factors such as a historic and pleasing appearance, keeping our night sky dark, and creating an inviting entry to our city,&8221; Friend said.

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The lighting was designed in such a way as to limit the amount of light pollution in the city and sky. The poles were installed 175 to 200 feet apart to light the street evenly, reducing glare. The poles are topped off with a bell-shaped cap, which directs the light toward the ground and limits the amount of light that shines up into the night sky.

The poles themselves are made of &8220;weathering steel.&8221; This gives the poles a slightly rusted appearance. In addition adding character, this &8220;rust&8221; forms a protective coating which prolongs the life of the pole while limiting maintenance. The poles will darken over time.

New banners were also installed, depicting the fountains on Fountain Lake, with a message welcoming visitors to Albert Lea, &8220;The Land Between the Lakes.&8221;