When will North Street light get fixed in Farmville?

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

When will the North Street light come back on? That’s a question several readers have asked about the intersection of North and Third streets in Farmville. Temporarily, stop signs and message board have replaced the light, following the Wednesday, Sept. 27 accident. 

The answer, Farmville town officials say, depends on what kind of replacement equipment they can find. As a reminder, at 7:53 a.m. on Sept. 27, the Farmville Police Department received a call for a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of North and Third streets. At the scene, they found a single vehicle, a Hummer, had crashed into the traffic light, causing the whole thing to fall into the roadway. 

“There really isn’t a definitive time frame at this point,” Farmville Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis said. “If we can find a (replacement) pole that meets the same engineering specifications of the previous pole, (it’ll be a shorter time).” 

Email newsletter signup

By that, Davis meant the ability to connect to the existing engineered base. Basically, the town staff is currently looking for a replacement piece of either the exact or similar size to the original, so they can just plug it into what’s already there. Currently they have a hole cut into the pavement, designed to fit a specific size pole. Then below that, the wiring, where you plug into the town’s electrical system, is also designed for a specific size. Imagine someone damaged the light fixture in your kitchen’s ceiling. You can’t just replace it with a random piece. It has to fit what was there before. It’s the same situation here. So searching for a new piece that fits is option one. 

What’s Option Two? 

Option two, meanwhile, would take significantly longer. 

“If we cannot find a pole (that fits), it would probably be six months minimum to get a new pole, remove existing engineered base under the sidewalk, and install a new engineered base specific to the new pole,” Davis said. 

Again, going back to the kitchen example. If you can’t find a replacement that fits, you have to make the light fixture fit the piece you did find. That’s what the town will have to do, if option one falls through. 

And then there’s the second question. How much will all of this cost and who will be paying for it? The driver of the Hummer did have insurance, but currently, town officials don’t know how much insurance will cover. And as for cost, that’s still up in the air as well. 

“We don’t have a cost estimate at this point for the six month version,” Davis said. 

In the meantime, expect things to remain as they are now. Instead of the traffic light, drivers on North Street will have a stop sign, with through traffic allowed on Third Street. Message boards have been put up to let drivers know about this traffic change as they approach the intersection from both sides.