By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Work is expected to begin next month on new decorative lighting and landscaping along North Broad Street.

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The Streets Department, starting in December, will begin installing what are called light “masts” along the median of a 2.5-mile stretch of North Broad Street, between Spring Garden Street and Glenwood Avenue, north of the Temple University campus.

“The masts are 50-foot-tall, stainless steel columns, with a steel mesh, And they’re lit from the inside, ” explains chief engineer Darin Gatti.  “So they don’t glow, but they do let light out.”

Gatti says forty-five masts are being added as part of the city’s revitalization of North Broad Street, in hopes of spurring development and making the heavily traveled avenue more appealing.  He says standard street lighting at the sidewalk will remain, because the light masts are mainly decorative.

“It’s not meant to light the street,” Gatti notes.  “It’s an architectural lighting, so it’s reflective.”

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And he says the work will also include sidewalk improvements.

“We’re adding trees to try and ‘green’ the corridor a little bit more, and adding landscaping where there is space available.”

The streetscape project will cost about $11 million for design and construction, funded through state, federal, and local public dollars.

The work is expected to last about two years.  To minimize disruption to traffic on North Broad Street, most of the construction will be done during evenings and weekends.

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