Clint Williamson, 49, a lineman for the Energy Group, a subcontractor for the city of Detroit, works on street lights on Jefferson Avenue last month. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
Detroit — The state-created Public Lighting Authority in partnership with Mayor Mike Duggan has set a series of public meetings to inform residents in the next two weeks about plans to speed up the relighting of Detroit.
The sessions come after the authority Wednesday decided to exclusively use Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lamps and accelerate the pace of installation with a goal of completing all city neighborhoods in 18 months instead of three years.
Authority Chairwoman Dr. Lorna Thomas said the expedited schedule makes sense.
“Our mission is to provide Detroiters with an efficient, reliable street lighting system that they have been denied for far too long,” Thomas said in a statement.
The revised plan was submitted to the five-member board by Public Lighting Authority Executive Director Odis Jones, who noted research shows LED lights are brighter and more cost-effective.
“When we began installing lights in the demonstration areas in November, we said that we would constantly evaluate our work with the end goal of providing Detroiters with the lighting they deserve … all the while keeping residents informed,” Jones said in a statement released Friday. “We look forward to meeting with these communities to update them on this exciting plan.”
The first LED lights are expected to arrive within two to three weeks. In the meantime, crews that had been installing lights in the demonstration areas will continue with required repairs to the system.
The authority expects its demonstration areas will be completed in May. The east side project boundaries are Eight Mile, Kelley, Hoover and Houston Whittier roads. The west side pilot area has boundaries of McNichols Road to the north, Southfield Road to the east, Fenkell Avenue on the south and Telegraph Road on the west, with a small extension in the Five Points area.
In addition to providing a street light at every street corner, the new plan requires a light in the middle of any block that’s more than 300 feet long. The previous plan required lights in the middle of any block 600 feet long or more.
Overhead wired lights will be replaced by the fourth quarter of 2015. Underground wiring, primarily along major thoroughfares, is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2016, officials say.