PLA completes installation of Historically Styled Street Lights in Sherwood Forest

December 17, 2014

Sherwood Forest Association raises necessary funds to cover difference in cost

DETROIT – The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) joined Mayor Mike Duggan and residents of the Sherwood Forest neighborhood at dusk on Wednesday for a community street lighting celebration. The event was held to mark the completion of a neighborhood partnership with the PLA to install historically styled LED street lights in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood.

At approximately 5:15 p.m., Mayor Mike Duggan, Sherwood Forest Association President Maurice Telesford, PLA Board Chair Dr. Lorna Thomas and PLA CEO Odis Jones joined with neighbors in a “count down” as the 96 newly installed lights were illuminated.

The decorative lights were installed under an agreement in which the Sherwood Forest Association provided the funds to cover the additional cost of installing the historically styled poles, which were selected by the neighborhood association.   The agreement was reached under a PLA program that accommodates neighborhoods who want to choose an alternate pole and pay the difference in cost.

“This is a great example of how the PLA is working with individual neighborhoods to bring modern, reliable street lighting while respecting the unique character of the community,” said Mayor Duggan.  “Even as they install nearly 1,000 new lights a week, the PLA has done a great job of listening and responding to the wishes of the community.”

As the PLA rebuilds the City’s street lighting system, it has a goal of completing all neighborhood and collector streets by the end of 2015.  The installation, which began in January, already has passed the 30,000 mark and is significantly ahead of schedule.  Work on thoroughfares, which use underground wiring, will be completed by the end of 2016. Approximately 65,000 new LED lights will be installed in the city during the next two years.

The LED lights being installed in neighborhoods are the lighting equivalent of 150 watt High Pressure Sodium lights, twice as bright as the 75 watt High Pressure Sodium lights that have been the standard in the past.

Jones said, “As we install new LED lights and poles throughout Detroit, we are working with neighborhood associations to ensure they know the options they have in terms of changing the poles that will be used in their neighborhood.  The Sherwood Forest Association leadership indicated to us they wanted to upgrade their light poles and that they were willing to take on the challenge of raising the additional funds.  Their success speaks to the energy and enthusiasm they put into the effort.”

Telesford said the poles selected by the association “demonstrates the commitment of our neighbors, community members and the PLA to maintain the aesthetic integrity of one of Detroit’s most historic neighborhoods.  The PLA was incredibly helpful in enabling us to find a light that worked for our neighborhood.  Their guidance combined with the outpouring of support and contributions to our fundraising campaign have brought us to this monumental accomplishment.”

Thomas said the agreement with Sherwood Forest “is a great example of the fact that while we’re moving with unprecedented speed to relight the city, we are still able to work individually with neighborhoods to assure that we are meeting their individual needs.   The lights Sherwood Forest chose are a perfect fit for the neighborhood.”

About the Public Lighting Authority of Detroit

The PLA was authorized by the Michigan Legislature in December 2012 and approved by Detroit City Council in 2013 to design and implement a plan to improve, modernize and maintain Detroit’s street lighting system. The PLA is governed by a five-member board, all Detroit residents, appointed by the Mayor and the City Council.