The team from the Public Lighting Department at Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) installing LED lights and poles in the Lopinot community. (Image courtesy T&TEC)

Lopinot residents are beginning to enjoy better visibility and safer night driving following the end of phase one of a project to install new LED street lights in the area, by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC).

The Ministry of Public Utilities’ funded project started on April 26th, and on final completion, will see the installation of 127 LEDs and 100 poles along the Lopinot Main Road.

A release from T&TEC reports that the first phase of the project saw its Public Lighting Department installing 70 of the LED lights and 58 poles in the community. The LED bulbs provide a white light that is immediately distinguishable from the traditional yellow glow of High-Pressure Sodium lights.

Phase Two of the project will be completed on final approval from the Ministry.

“The installation of new streetlights is just one aspect of work that is ongoing during the pandemic,” the T&TEC release said.

It added: “In the office and on the field, T&TEC’s employees continue to serve the needs of the country during the pandemic, ensuring a reliable electricity supply for thousands working and studying at home and improving the quality of life, by providing an increased sense of security and safety on our roads.”

The Lopinot community is known for its idyllic landscape and is a major tourism draw. Since the installation, residents have said that the illumination has already begun to positively impact their community.

“We now have a better appreciation of the beauty of the forested area in our community,” said Marcia Guerrero, chairman of the Lopinot Country Style Community Tourism.  The group hosts an authentic cuisine tour.

“The area encompassing “Oucoleau” (Black Water) and Mauvais Roche (Bad Rock), between Surrey Village and Lopinot, is enchanting at night, and the new lights can offer more opportunities for eco-tourism,” she noted.  

“The road to enter the village runs along a largely uninhabited forested area and the lights will make it safer and more comfortable for visitors, especially those who are unfamiliar with the area,” she added.

“Both residents returning home and visitors who come for Lopinot’s cuisine tours, parang festivals and lush scenery, can feel more secure when traversing the previously poorly lit area,” said Richard Salina, member of the Lopinot Village Council.