This streetlight head was discovered on the ground outside the Visitor Center. Photo courtesy of the Town of Concord

Concord Center streetlights swapped out after decorative fixtures fall

By Celeste Katz Marston
January 26, 2024

The town swapped out dozens of decorative streetlight heads in Concord Center for temporary replacements after at least three of the 15-pound fixtures apparently tumbled to the ground from atop their poles. 

The town hustled to remove 40 decorative streetlights after several 15-pound fixtures were found on the ground in and around Concord Center. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Of the 40 fixtures recently removed, 32 have been replaced with more utilitarian, non-decorative lights, said town Chief Technology Officer Jason Bulger, who’s serving as interim head of the Concord Municipal Light Plant since the departure of former Director David Wood earlier this month. 

“We will make sure that once reinstalled, the streetlights will be safe and not a danger to residents or personal property,” Bulger told The Concord Bridge.

The light heads were found on the ground on Main Street outside the Visitor Center and the Grasshopper Shop as well as in front of Concord Academy, Bulger said. 

A fourth fixture did not make it all the way to earth, but was spotted hanging by a hinge, he said. 

The cause of the problem isn’t clear yet, but currently points to mechanical problems versus tampering or vandalism, Bulger said.

“The best guess is a mechanical failure of the pin that holds a hinged door that exists to service the light,” he explained. 

Not every light pole had a temporary light fixture as of Thursday afternoon; police have stepped up patrols. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

While the town meets with the light manufacturer and vendor to address the problem, Bulger said, Concord Police have stepped up patrols of the center to compensate for the partial loss of light. 

He said public safety officials reported “the temporary lighting is adequate for the time being and do not recommend diesel-powered temporary lighting.”

He praised the CMLP line crew, Concord Public Works, and CPD for “coordinating the removal and installation of the temporary lighting [over] nights and weekends in freezing conditions.” 

A full timeframe and cost estimate for the light swap-out and replacement wasn’t immediately available Friday.

It’s apparently been a bit of a tough few days for local lighting.

On Friday, an entire light pole was spotted down on Commonwealth Avenue in the West Concord shopping district. A truck had backed into the light and the incident was unrelated to the light head issues in the Concord Center, Bulger said. A safety cone was spotted in its place by late afternoon.

A West Concord resident shared this photo of a downed light pole and fixture on the ground near the Main Street-Commonwealth Avenue split. The pole was cleared by Friday afternoon.