New lighting coming to Fayetteville downtown square

A design rendering shows what a new lighting system would look like on the southwest corner of the square.

City of Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE — The downtown square will soon get some lighting.

The City Council this week is set to approve funding for the project, which will include installing pedestrian lights and other indirect lighting fixtures around the square.

Byron Humphry, the city’s parks maintenance superintendent, said the city has received several requests for lighting improvements through the years. The downtown square is considered a city park, with the exception of the old post office building, which is owned by the Cheers at the OPO restaurant.

Humphry said the sidewalks in front of the businesses on the outside of the square are well lit, but lighting on the inside of the square is lacking with only a few bollard lights that were installed in 2009.

“What’s there now is really token lighting that’s low voltage and it really doesn’t help much,” he said.

A staff photo shows the downtown area at night with poor visibility on the interior of the square.

City of Fayetteville

Vendors with the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market sometimes have to set up their booths before sunrise, Humphry said, which can be a challenge without any lighting.

“There is a little light spillage from the exterior of the square that helps a some, but it’s still relatively dark on the interior,” he said.

The original plan was to install pole lights, but members of the City Council’s Transportation Committee asked for an alternative solution that is less obtrusive.

The updated design includes bollard lights with differing height levels to provide direct pedestrian lighting, mixed with uplighting on selected trees that’s expected to reflect downward and provide indirect lighting.

Humphry said the new fixtures will give more of a glow, and will likely be more fitting for the atmosphere on the square. The LED-based system is also designed to allow for color and brightness control that can vary based on seasons or events.

A rendering of the new lighting system on the southeast corner of the square.

City of Fayetteville

“I think it’s really going to be a big improvement both from a pedestrian standpoint and an aesthetic standpoint,” Humphry said.

Committee member Sonia Harvey agreed.

“I think this is so important,” she said. “[The square] is probably the number one place that people visit.”

The work is part of the second phase of electrical improvements to the square. The first phase included upgrading the electrical service to accommodate for food trucks and other vendors by installing more outlets which eliminates the need for gas-powered generators during events.

City Council members on Tuesday will consider a $218,000 contract with King Electrical for the new lighting. Funding will come from transportation and parks bonds voters approved in 2019.