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Highways Osage Beach, MO
 

Lighting system promotes highway
safety in Missouri tourist community


During the winter months, Osage Beach, Missouri, is a cozy town in the Ozarks, boasting a population of 5,000. When summer comes, the area is transformed into a bustling tourist paradise where the population swells to upwards of 75,000, including visitors, travelers, boaters and fishermen.

Osage Beach sits on two peninsulas surrounded by the scenic Lake of the Ozarks on two sides. The town is eight miles long and one mile wide and claims about 12,000 summer and permanent residences.

Heavily traveled State Route 54 is the main thoroughfare through town—stretching from one end to the other—and connects Osage Beach with more populated centers such as Jefferson City. Along the highway are a multitude of businesses, including restaurants, gift shops, stores, motels, miniature golf courses and other entertainment establishments.

Until recently, the light provided by these businesses was the only illumination that drivers had on the highway besides their headlights. Accidents had become more common as the volume of vehicles increased and drivers searched for driveways or missed the business entrances entirely.

“The background lighting actually interfered with the visibility on the roadway,” said John C. Ballard, city engineer for Osage Beach. “In some areas, the roadway was extremely dark. In other locations, we had a lot of background lighting but the business entrances were dark. The situation was particularly hazardous for drivers who came from out of town and were unfamiliar with the area.”

Once city officials made the decision to install an overhead lighting system, the luminaires had to be approved by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Mark Norcross, electrical designer, Archer Engineers, Springfield, Missouri, specified Mongoose® luminaires from Holophane with 250-watt high-pressure sodium lamps.

“We selected the Mongoose luminaires because they enabled us to effectively illuminate the 60-foot roadway from one side,” said Norcross. “This was especially important in areas where the MDOT easement extends only a few feet from the highway instead of the customary 20 feet.”

The Mongoose luminaires are installed from two to 14 feet from the pavement edge. The units are mounted on 35-foot high poles spaced approximately 160 feet apart. Pole locations and the side of the highway where the units are installed vary according to the width of the easement and obstructions along the roadway. Eight to 10 poles may be located on one side of the highway with four or five units installed on the other. Illumination levels are (needed from contact) footcandles.


“Osage Beach has needed lighting on this highway for years,” said Ballard. “The Mongoose system has helped us create a safer environment that is more enjoyable for everyone—tourists, travelers and residents.”

The Mongoose luminaires, which are controlled by an electronic eye, are illuminated from dusk until dawn. The local utility company is responsible for maintaining the fixtures.

“Installing the Mongoose system allowed us to meet all of the requirements set forth by the MDOT at a significantly lower cost than was possible with a cobrahead system,” Norcross said. “Reports regarding the lighting system have been very favorable.”

The Osage Beach lighting project is being completed in three phases with a targeted completion date of 2003.



 

 
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