No, not that kind of getting lit…

By Leo Dillinger

The term “Getting Lit in Manayunk” has taken on a brand new meaning in 2021 as a series of lighting installations brightened our community in the last year.

New Main Street Pedestrian Lighting
Starting back in February 2021 and recently completed this November, Main Street’s $4.29 Million Streetscape Project completely transformed the district’s appearance. Featuring the installation and illumination of brand new Victorian-style pedestrian streetlights, the center of Main Street’s commercial corridor is now brighter than ever before.
In addition to new lighting and the removal of the old lighting fixtures, this months-long project also included brand new paving along the entire length of Main Street as well as Shurs Lane between Ridge Avenue and Main Street, improved pedestrian crosswalks and bump outs with flashing beacons, and ADA ramps.
This work could not have been done without the tireless work from Ramos & Associates Contractors, Armour & Sons Electric Inc., Michael Baker International, James J Anderson Construction Inc., and the City of Philadelphia’s Streets Department.

Illuminating the Manayunk Bridge
Ever since the Manayunk Bridge Trail first opened to pedestrians and cyclists back in 2015, the trail could only remain open during daylight hours due to a lack of sufficient lighting on the bridge between dusk and dawn, especially during the winter months.

But all of that is going to change with a project that broke ground in October 2021. New pedestrian lighting and security cameras will sit atop the iconic Manayunk Bridge come early 2022! This $1.5 Million capital improvement, funded by the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, will ensure the bridge trail can stay open at all times to commuters and recreational users moving forward. This project would not be possible without the lead contracting from Miller Brothers Electrical Contractors and community partnerships with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Lower Merion Township, and the Manayunk Development Corporation.

In addition to the pedestrian lighting, the Manayunk Special Services District installed LED projection uplighting along the arches of the bridge back in July. This $70,000 project made possible from GWA Lighting allows the bridge to get lit up in a variety of colors and lighting displays that can be changed to celebrate different holidays. Although the wrath of the flooding from Hurricane Ida on September 2 damaged the hardware, the MSSD expects the bridge uplighting to be repaired by the end of 2021.

“Get Lit in Manayunk” Lighting Contest
After the success of 2020’s “Manayunk Gets Lit” contest, Main Street is doubling down and making the neighborhood light up even more for the 2021 holiday season. Manayunk businesses have decked out their storefronts with festive lights and decorations and are looking for visitors and residents to cast their votes for the best displays in each category, including “Best Decorated Door,” “Most Lit,” “Best Decorated Window Display,” “Most Original,” and “Most Spirited Block.”

Guests are encouraged to visit Manayunk throughout the holiday season, which kicks off with our Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, November 18th and Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 27. Voting officially begins on Thursday, November 18 and runs until Thursday, December 16, with an announcement of all winners on Friday, December 17. The Manayunk Development Corporation is giving away up to $10,000 in prizes to the winning businesses and Manayunk Gift Certificates to guests who submit ballots for their favorite decorated businesses.

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