Opinion: Lights Out! Mercer County Can Find $1.88M for “Bridge to Nowhere” Project but Can’t Maintain Lights at Skating Center

I counted 11+ lights out at Mercer County Skating Center. The + is because it would have been 12 but one light came back on but and was dim. The old lights appear to be around 1,000-watts each and should be replaced with a more environmentally friendly option such as LED that would use a lot less power and save on the electric bill.

January 6, 2022


WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Recently MidJersey.News has covered the “Bridge to Nowhere” railroad bridge replacement project Mercer County is spending $1.88 Million Dollars on a railroad bridge that spans Parkside Avenue in the City of Trenton. That taxpayer waste will replace an abandoned railroad bridge that goes nowhere with private property on each side that links some of the worst crime sections in the City of Trenton. There are many crimes, and several homicides are in the area every year. Just go down the list of some of the 80 homicides Trenton has had in the past two years. We agree that the bridge needed to be removed since it was a hazard to motorists not only by falling down but a place for crime and other hazards. Upon inspection of the area mattresses, chairs, empty liquor containers and even discarded condoms were found at that bridge prior to demolition. Area residents and motorists have reported people used to throw items off the bridge to the roadway below. The bridge should have been removed but not replaced with another bridge that will go nowhere on the abandoned rail line that is marked private property. There are better uses in Mercer County for $1.88 Million Dollars.

For example, last night at a high school hockey game at the Mercer County Skating Center it was observed that the areas over the ice were darker than normal. Looking up at the lights I counted 12 lights out at first, while counting again one light came back on but was dim leaving 11 lights out. The lights appear to be an old style 1,000-watt type light (could be more or less wattage but that is common in this type of use). There is really no excuse to not have those lights working in the middle of hockey season, plus all the other events held at the Mercer County Skating Center.

Mercer County likes to promote and say it is for the environment, but the lights burn most of the day at an estimated 1,000 watts each. A quick Internet search revealed that there are reasonably priced LED retrofit kits available that are cost effective and would burn around 250 watts each saving 750 watts per light all day and night long during the winter season. The savings from less energy use would quickly pay for the retrofitting or replacement of the lights by saving money on the electric bill.

Repair, retrofit or replacement something needs to be done. Hopefully, it is the more environmentally sound option.