State and local officials announce lighting upgrades on West Cervantes Street

State and local officials assembled at the Brownsville Community Center on Tuesday to announce that 72 new streetlights will be installed along a 2.5-mile stretch of West Cervantes Street.

Work will start immediately and should be completed by mid-August, Broxson said.

“This is a statement from all of us that we believe in Brownsville,” said Broxson. “It’s a historic part of Pensacola and it has a great future.”

The news comes in the wake of a tragic hit and run at Cervantes and M Streets last week in which a woman and an infant were killed, but Broxson said that his office had begun working on the improvements earlier this spring with Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May and other local officials.

“DOT has moved with lightning speed,” Broxson said, referring to the Florida Department of Transportation. “Unbelievable.”

The project also involves upgrading existing streetlights with newer, brighter LED lamps. “Gulf Power crews are out right now replacing those lights,” said Keith Hoskins, the company’s western district general manager.

The work includes the conversion of 38 existing streetlights to LED lamps as well as the installation of 34 new LED streetlights, Gulf Power spokeswoman Kimberly Blair said Tuesday.

May emphasized that the streetlight improvements alone were not enough and that there was more work to be done.

“Let’s be clear, putting up lights will not change the culture of a community,” May said. “We change the hearts and souls and culture of a community by investing in our young people.”