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The North Broad Poles in search of new contractor

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The RFP has been extended

The 42 light poles along North Broad are still in need of a contractor for maintenance.
Photo by Melissa Romero

The “North Poles” on North Broad Street are still in search of a contractor to maintain them, more than a year after the city installed the 42 light masts in the center of the corridor.

The non-profit community development group North Broad Renaissance has extended an RFP (request for proposals) for a contractor who can order and install upgraded LED lights for the poles and maintain general upkeep of the 2.5-mile art installation.

The first RFP was issued late last year, with anticipated work set to begin on December 12. North Broad Renaissance has now extended application deadline to January 31, 2017.

Light poles used to line the center of Broad Street in the early 20th century.

The year-old group inherited the North Poles from the city and Avenue of the Arts. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and James Carpenter Design Associations, the poles were installed in the fall of 2015, meant as an ode to former light poles that once stood in the center of the street in the early 20th century.

But the modern installation was met with much objection from critics for the lack of community involvement and hefty price tag: The total cost of the project was $14 million.

In its recent 2016 State of North Broad report, the North Broad Renaissance said that it was currently researching ways to transform the poles from eyesores to “local attractions that will benefit the community.”

There will be three informational meetings on January 17, 18, and 19 regarding the RFP.