The lights are coming on in Detroit neighborhoods.
The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) is two thirds done with its pilot program of relighting the streets of Motown with LED lights. The team has put 3,200 lights in both sections on the east side and west side.
“In spite of sometimes serious weather challenges that have interfered with the work at various times, our crews have been moving steadily since we put up the first LED light in the middle of February,” said PLA Executive Director Odis Jones. “We are on track to complete the installation of overhead wired lights in these two areas by the end of April and to extend the work into other neighborhoods.”
The two areas used to pilot the program were chosen last year. The borders of the east side area are Eight Mile, Kelly Rd., Hoover and Houston Whittier. The relighting on the west side began within the area of McNichols on the north, Southfield Rd. on the east, Fenkell on the south and the city boundary on the west.
Mayor Mike Duggan said the steady progress of the program “is welcome news to Detroiters who have waited far too long for reliable street lights. When the work in the demonstration area is completed the authority will move immediately into other neighborhoods. The fact that these are all LED lights means our citizens will enjoy the benefits of up-to-date technology that will serve our City well for the foreseeable future.”
This is a large step to the goal of 50,000 LED lights up by the end of 2015.
The last days of April will mark the end of both territories overhead lamp relighting. The thoroughfares and underground lighting in the neighborhoods will be caught up by the end of July.
After the construction and electrical work are done the PLA will take responsibility for maintaining the lights. Any broken lights will be fixed within five days of being reported. This will be made possible by residence being given contact information on how to get in touch if the lights are damaged, have an outage or any other problems.
Nearly half the lights in both of the two areas were not working, according to an engineering survey done last year. The survey is the first part of the lighting and has been continued in other parts of the city as the pilot’s relighting draws to a close allowing the transition to continue without delay.
The lights are brighter, too. Previously, 70 watt high pressure sodium bulbs were used in the lighting. The new LED lights are the lighting equivalent of 150 watt high pressure sodium lights, more than twice as the old style.