PLA and Mayor Duggan Report on Progress of Installation in the two Demonstration Areas

April 30, 2014

Public Lighting Authority of Detroit and Mayor Duggan Report on Progress
of Installation in the two Demonstration Areas

Next ZIP codes for LED installation announced

DETROIT – The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) has completed ahead of schedule its installation of new Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights with overhead wiring, within the two pilot areas’ neighborhoods, city and Lighting Authority officials announced today.  Installing the new lights in the two pilot areas was the latest step in the PLA’s mission to relight Detroit.

Workers installed the last light with overhead wiring in the demonstration area on the 15700 block of Plainview, on the city’s west side. The installation brought the total LED lights installed thus far to approximately 5,000.

“The completion of this phase in these pilot areas ahead of schedule is a great example of how our city is delivering real change for Detroit residents,” said Mayor Mike Duggan, who was present at the installation.  “As we continue to move across the city, Detroiters will be able to count on having their streets lit to the same standards of illumination as any other city.”

The PLA had set a May 1 deadline for completing this phase of its street light upgrades.  Officials reported that the PLA’s work on major thoroughfares and collector streets, which use underground wiring, is on schedule to meet the goal of completing installation by July 31, 2014.

PLA CEO, Odis Jones said the installation of the last LED lights with overhead wiring shows that the PLA board is fulfilling the mission it was created to accomplish.  “There is no question about the rapid progress that is being made in the area of public street lighting since the beginning of the year,” Jones said. “Detroit is now on par with other major cities by meeting the national engineering illumination standards. Clearly we are on our way to reversing decades of disinvestment in the city’s street lights.”

In January, Detroit City Council unanimously appointed the new PLA Board, which quickly voted to install all LED lamps. Installation of the LED lights began in February.

PLA Board Chair Dr. Lorna Thomas said research had shown that LED lights provide brighter light, are more cost efficient and will better serve the Detroit community in coming years.  In addition, the cost of LED lights has been steadily going down, making them more affordable.  She said the LED lights that are installed in neighborhoods will be the equivalent of 150 watt High Pressure Sodium lights, more than twice as bright as the 70 watt High Pressure Sodium lights that have been the standard in the past.

The light that completed installation with overhead wiring Wednesday, is in one of two demonstration areas that the PLA designated last year to begin the relighting of the City.  The east side demonstration area has boundaries of Eight Mile, Kelly Rd., Hoover and Houston Whittier.  The west side demonstration project has boundaries of McNichols on the north, Southfield Rd. on the east, Fenkell on the south and the City boundary on the west.

PLA Maintains New Lights

The PLA has taken over responsibility for maintaining the lights it has installed the demonstration areas, with a goal of fixing any broken light within five days of it being reported. If residents need to report any damages, outages or issues of the lights installed by the PLA, they should call (313) 324-8290 or visit

An engineering survey of the two pilot areas that was completed last year showed that nearly one third of the lights in both areas are not working.  The survey collected specific information about the condition of every single street light in both project areas.  The survey work is now being continued into other parts of the city so that the relighting will continue without interruption.

Timeline to Relight Detroit and Next ZIP Codes

Beginning May 1, work will start in the following ZIP codes, with a deadline to complete installation of LED lights with overhead wiring by the end of 2014: 48205, 48215, 48219, 48223, 48224 and 48235.

As the PLA rebuilds the City’s street lighting system, it has a goal of completing all neighborhoods by the end of 2015.  Work on thoroughfares, which use underground wiring, will be completed by the end of 2016.  Approximately 50,000 new LED lights will be installed in the city during the next two years.

 About the Public Lighting Authority of Detroit

The PLA was authorized by the Michigan Legislature in December, 2012 and approved by Detroit City Council earlier this year to design and implement a plan to improve Detroit’s public lighting system. The PLA is governed by a five-member board, all Detroit residents, appointed by the Mayor and the City Council.