Detroit street light study of two areas finds nearly half out

October 23, 2013

The Detroit News
Christine Ferretti

Posted October 22, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Detroit street light study of two areas finds nearly half out

The Public Lighting Authority says a block-by-block review of street lights in two city neighborhoods has revealed nearly half are not working.

The survey results were released Tuesday about a month after the authority launched the initial phase of two pilot projects as it works on a comprehensive plan to relight the city.

Survey teams for the east side demonstration area found 44 percent of the 3,194 lights were out. The area is bounded by Eight Mile, Kelly, Hoover and Houston Whittier.

On the west side, about 45.5 percent of the 1,745 lights did not work. That survey was conducted within the area of McNichols, Southfield, Fenkell and Telegraph.

PLA Executive Director Odis Jones says the review was necessary since the most current data was 15-years-old. The information will be used by the state-created authority to design new street lighting for both areas. Construction and installation of the new lights is expected to begin in early November, he said.

“Before we could develop a plan to renovate the city’s street lights, it was critical that we have accurate, up-to-date information on the system as it exists today,” Jones said in a statement Tuesday. “The survey has provided us with specific information about the condition of every single street light in both project areas.

“This will enable us to design the best lighting plan for each area as we move forward to give the citizens of Detroit the lighting they deserve,” Jones said. “We are working in these two areas as a prelude to moving out into the rest of the city to completely restore street lighting over the next three years.”

The authority plans to release a preliminary citywide lighting plan following the survey and a comprehensive plan for the $160 million effort by year’s end.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation in December authorizing creation of the authority. Its five-member board was appointed by members of the Detroit City Council and Mayor Dave Bing.