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Businesses Want Short North Arch Lights Fixed

Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 09:49 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- Businesses seek answers after the illuminated arches lining High St. in the Short North go dark for days.

***UPDATE SINCE OUR STORY AIRED***

The Short North Alliance says the communication glitch that caused the lights to go out has been fixed.  A representative says it's the first time for this kind of an issue since the LED lights were installed in 2007, and it shouldn't happen often.

***ORIGINAL STORY BELOW***

The Short North Alliance sent an email to businesses Wednesday to explain why the lights have been off in the iconic arches that stretch from the Interstate 670 cap on High Street to Fifth Avenue in Columbus. 

"There is a problem running the program for the arch lighting.  The Short North Alliance is aware of the complication and has been in communication with our partners at the City of Columbus." 

Short North Alliance Director John Angelo told ABC 6 that people have come to love the arches in Columbus. 

"It's kind of fun when they aren't there because people say they really do miss them.  So absence makes the heart grow fonder," said Angelo.

Long time business owner Isabella Grayfer said she pays taxes and dues to be part of the Short North District.  Grayer, at Roche Bobois furniture said she is sad the lights are not functioning properly again. 

"It is part of our ambiance.  All of us wish they were working again."

The City Utilities Department spokesman Rick Tilton said they have a team working on the issue.  The City has invested more than $2.5 million dollars in the arches that were first installed in 2002.  The Short North Special Improvement District paid the balance of the $3 million project.

The lights started malfunctioning in December and the City started a legal battle with the contractors. The lights were re-designed in 2007 and are programmed by a City of Columbus contractor.

"They have determined it is a communications problem to the system and with the computer that manages the arches.  This is a short term problem and we expect it to be back working in a few days," said Angelo.

Tilton said no additional taxpayer money will be needed to repair the lights because the maintenance is part of the special contractor's responsibilities.
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Reporter:  Lu Ann StoiaBusinesses Want Short North Arch Lights Fixed


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