B.C. Transit’s No. 2 bus, the South Oak Bay line, stops in front of Oak Bay municipal hall near a decorative streetlight. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Vehicles causing thousands of dollars in damages to Oak Bay’s decorative streetlights

Streetlights, which cost $5,000 to replace, are struck as many as 10 times a year

Drivers in large vehicles run into as many as 10 decorative streetlights along Oak Bay Avenue each year, costing up to $50,000.

The decorative streetlights that line the street are located close to the roadway – six inches away – so when drivers park large utility vehicles or buses along Oak Bay Avenue, it’s not uncommon for them to back up into a nearby streetlight and cause some damage, explained District of Oak Bay spokesperson Hayley Goodgrove.

READ ALSO: Streetlight replacements can cost up to $8,000 in Victoria, $10,000 in Langford

Drivers strike a streetlight on Oak Bay Avenue up to ten times a year, she explained. The repair work ranges from “minor paint touch-ups to pole replacement.”

In Oak Bay, replacing a standard streetlight costs between $2,000 and $2,500 depending on the extent of the damage, explained David Brozuk, superintendent of public works. For example, if the underground concrete base needs to be replaced, the repairs cost more.

However, the decorative lights can cost $5,000 to repair depending on the damage. This means that if the poles that are struck need to be replaced, it can cost between $25,000 to $50,000 to keep Oak Bay Avenue’s streetlights in good condition.

READ ALSO: Story told by Oak Bay dad who killed daughters ‘defies logic,’ says judge at start of sentencing

Brozuk emphasized that most repair and replacement costs can go through ICBC if a vehicle caused the damage.

Mayor Kevin Murdoch noted that not all streetlights that get hit get knocked over or need to be replaced. They may be struck and require minor repairs so while the lights are hit frequently, he said it’s not a significant concern for the District.

Murdoch also noted that moving the lights farther away from the road would be costly as they’re anchored underground and have specific wiring.

The current council is researching for a new “village plan” – which will map out the sidewalk, street and streetlight placement among other things – and the next council will work on and approve a plan, he explained.


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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