project leader
J.R. L
100 Humphrey Street, New Haven, CT
(Mill River District between East Rock and Fair Haven)
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Fundraiser Update

the project

The Amtrack underpass on Humphrey Street in the as you are entering the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven is universally recognized as the dark creepy underpass. Probably the darkest and creepiest in New Haven.

Let's turn it around and make it brilliant! The underpass is important as it is an entry to Fair Haven from East Rock and Mill River Districts and is used by many pedestrians: school kids, neighbors and people headed to work. It is a part of the burgeoning Mill River Trail and adjacent to the District innovation campus development.

Inspired by colorful lighting projects in other cities we hope to bring many brilliant colored lights to the pedestrian paths through the tunnel. We have been exploring color changing lights that create an attractive effect which emphasizes the interesting arched architecture of the underpass. These photos demonstrate the impact of just one light. 


Our plan is to put one of these bright color changing lights every 40ft. 

They will be aimed upward to bounce light off the ceiling and walls and reduce glare.


We have been working with the City of New Haven and consulted lighting professionals. We will be putting in a comercial grade weather proof fixture that is expected to last 10+years. Lighting control will be based on a pre programed sequence to start, but we will build the system so it can be upgraded to be programed in diffrent ways. We envision working with Holberton School and others to create creative color changing sequences based on sensor or internet data. Working with Ryan Zaveruha at Acuity Lighting we have already done a proof of concpet demonstrating programatic control of color changes.




the steps

November, December - Fundraise

Feburary - Order fixtures, and schedule install

March - Install lighs, setup control system

April - Community cleanup of underpass and ribbon cutting celebration 

why we're doing it

We hope that this completely changes the feel of that transition point between East Rock / Mill River and Fair Haven to something uplifting. We hope that it will be something that visitors to New Haven stumble upon and talk about to their friends when they are back in their home city. We hope it makes the walk for students of Elm City College Preparatory School enjoy their walk to school more. We hope that it will be a highlight of the points of interest walk that people take along the Mill River Trail. If these hopes are fulfilled we have reason to believe that it will achieve the goal of inspiring pride in locals for where they live. That will in turn lead to greater excitement for how we can celebrate the assets of that community, and in turn encourage ongoing  authentic, community driven economic development.


11/18/2021 Disbursement 2:

TOTAL RAISED = $500.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $15.00

Disbursement 2 budget:

improvements to signage around the underpass: $485


Disbursed budget:

$8,658.00 = Raised on IOBY
$4,500= REGI Art Grant
$3,000 = Community Foundation Grant
$12,000 = Could Be Fund
*Total = $28,158*

$19,000 Fixtures (Commercial grade RGB x 12 lights )
$3,500 Install by licensed electrician
$2,500 Controlling System Cables and Equipment
$2,158 Cosmetic / Surrounding Improvements to underpass
$500 Opening Celebration / Marketing
$500 Administrative for Mill River Watershed Association
*Total = $28,158*

TOTAL RAISED = $8,658.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $129.87

Original Budget:

$4,500  REGI Art Grant -- Secured
$3,000 Community Foundation Grant -- Secured and matched by Could Be Fund
$4,000 IOBY Drive -- Matched by Sustainable CT and Could Be Fund
$4,000 Sustainable CT -- Match of IOBY Drive
$12,000 Could Be Fund -- Match of non State Expendatures up to $12,000
$27,500 Total

IOBY Drive Fundraising sub-goals detail
$500 Communty Groups (Chattam Square Neighbood Group)
$2,000 Abutting Buisnesses (might be able to raise more, need to see how it resonates)
$1,500 Individuals
$4,000 IOBY Drive Subtotal

$18,500 Fixtures (Comerical grade RGB x 12 lights )
$3,400 Install by licensed electrician
$2,500 Controlling System Cables and Equipment
$2,000 Cosmetic / Surrounding Improvements to underpass (this line could be increased)
$600 Opening Celebration / Marketing
$500 Adminstrative for Mill River Watershed Association
$27,500 Total

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $249


Fundraiser Update

We have made amazing progress. We have raised $4,408 from individuals and small buinesses. What you do not see listed in the fundriaisng meter (yet) is we have are some paper pledges which are expected. 

$500 Chatham Square Neighborhood Association
$500 Elm City College Prep / Achievement First
​$500 Bear's Restaurant Group
$350 Individual Pledge
This gives us an additoinal $1,850 x  with the Sustainable CT match = $3,700

This means we have raised $8,108 from individuals and small buisnesses.  With the expected pledges that puts us at only $176 from our community fundraising goal (lets close that small gap). Added to that we have $19,500 in commited grants for the project. That means as long as everything comes in as expected we have the budgeted dollars we need to buy and install the new lighting for the Brilliant Underpass!





This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
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  • Andrew Visser
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  • Urbane NewHaven
  • Bob & Christine Bishop
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