Interchange lights welcome change for community

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 12, 2009

To borrow a popular motel chain’s catchphrase, Brookhaven – withthe help of the Mississippi Department of Transportation – willsoon be able to “leave the light on” for guests and visitors to thecity.

After years of lobbying by community leaders and months ofconstruction that started earlier this year, testing for newoverhead lights at the Brookway Boulevard intersection ofInterstate 55 began Friday. If all goes well during theapproximately two weeks of testing, the lights will stay on toshine over an area that long has been in dire need ofillumination.

Under an agreement worked out by state, city and county leaders,MDOT funded the approximately $500,000 lighting project. In return,the city and county will share the cost of electricity andmaintenance in the years ahead.

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The installation of the lights represents a welcome change forBrookhaven’s welcome mat.

Thousands of vehicles a day pass through Brookhaven on theinterstate. Until now, due to the darkness of the Exit 40interchange, many of those who traveled at night had no clue of thehigh-quality retail establishments, restaurants and otheropportunities available to them simply by exiting theinterstate.

With the lights in place, Brookhaven will be able to entice someof those passersby to stop and hopefully spend money in thiscommunity. That, in turn, will contribute – at least in some smallpart – to the continued betterment of the city.

And city officials’ plans for landscaping around the interchangeshould further enhance its appeal.

Additionally, the lights will improve safety around theinterchange and hopefully reduce the possibility of accidents orother mishaps.

Let there be lights.