Public Lighting Authority of Detroit installation of new street lights passes two-thirds mark in demonstration areas

April 1, 2014

Public Lighting Authority of Detroit installation of new street lights passes two-thirds mark in demonstration areas

DETROIT – The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) said Tuesday it is approximately two-thirds completed installing new Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights in two demonstration areas on the east and west sides of Detroit, with more than 3,200 lights up and working.

“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.”

Mayor Mike Duggan said the steady progress of installation “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.”

The lights are the first of some 50,000 new LED streetlights that will be installed throughout the City before the end of 2015.

The lights are being installed 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.

Overhead lighting construction in the two areas is scheduled to be completed by the end of April, with work on lights on major thoroughfares in the two areas and underground wired lights in neighborhoods to be completed by July.   When the relighting of the two demonstration areas is completed, the PLA will take over responsibility for maintaining the lights in the areas, with a goal of fixing any broken light within five days of it being reported. At that time, residents in both areas will receive contact information to report any damages, outages or issues with the lights.

An engineering survey of the two pilot areas that was completed last year showed that nearly half the lights in both areas were not working when the relighting began.  The survey work, which is the first part of relighting a neighborhood, is now being continued into other parts of the City so that the installation of new lights will continue without interruption when the two demonstration areas are completed.

The LED lights being installed in neighborhoods are the lighting 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.

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 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.