PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Over the course of the next week, the Panama City Public Works Department is performing maintenance work on all 54 of the street lights on the Hathaway Bridge.
Monday, workers addressed the 14 lights along the outside of the eastbound lanes.
“They did a complete change out,” Director of Panama City Public Works Jonathan Hayes said. “They changed the bulb, they changed the fuze and they changed the ballast.”
They even examined the lights that were working.
“They saw some wires that were beginning to be frayed and so they sealed those with kind of a shrink wrap heat gun,” Hayes said.
Tuesday, they’ll tend to the 28 lights that line both sides of the median.
“If they’re not working, and even if they are working they’ll look at the light bulb,” Hayes said. “They look at the ballast.”
Lights on the outside of westbound lanes won’t be replaced until the start of next week.
This is not the first time public works has done a complete overhaul of the lights on the bridge.
In 2022 alone, crews replaced over 50 bulbs along with various wires and fuses. Despite these efforts, officials say additional unforeseen complications have resulted in some light fixtures needing to be replaced altogether.
“At the beginning of 2022 and replaced all the lights most of the ballast and a lot of the fuses and inspected them all,” Hayes said. “And they all worked for probably a couple of months again with the exception of the handful that is missing.”
Hayes said the repeated maintenance is due to the age of the lights.
“These lights have been there for over 20 years,” Hayes said. “So the number of hurricanes and Florida summers with thunderstorms and tropical storms, you know, there have been a lot of those over the years.”
By the end of next week, Hayes said all 50 lights currently standing will be working.