DETROIT — The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit, working in cooperation with Mayor Mike Duggan, has scheduled a series of three public meetings in its two demonstration areas over the next two weeks to explain recent updates to its plan to rebuild the city’s street lighting system. The meetings will take place Feb. 5 at Westside Christ the King Parish, Feb. 6 at Eastside WOW Church and Life Center, and Feb. 13 at Westside North Rosedale Park Community House.
At the meetings, Duggan, PLA Executive Director Odis Jones and PLA Board Chair Lorna Thomas will outline key revisions of the plan, including converting the system to Light-Emitting Diode lamps and accelerating the pace of installation with a goal of completing all neighborhoods within 18 months.
The east side demonstration project is comprised of an area with boundaries of Eight Mile, Kelly Road, 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 Telegraph on the west, with a small extension in the Five Points area of the city south of McNichols and west of Telegraph.
The revised plan was submitted to the board Wednesday by Jones. Mayor Duggan attended the board meeting, and voiced his support for the new plan. The LED lights that will be installed in neighborhoods will be 150 watt lights that are more than twice as bright as the 70 watt high pressure sodium lights that have been the standard in the past.
In addition to providing for a street light at every street corner in the City, the new plan requires a light in the middle of any block that is more than 300 feet long. The previous plan approved by the board last year had required lights in the middle of any block 600 feet long or more.
All overhead wired lights will be replaced in the city by the fourth quarter of 2015, with the neighborhood portion of the project completed in 18 months. All work on underground wiring, primarily along major thoroughfares, is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2016.
The first shipment of LED lights was ordered following the board meeting, and is expected to arrive within two to three weeks. In the meantime, crews that have been installing lights in the demonstration areas will carry out general repair work that is required as part of rebuilding the system. The high pressure sodium lights that have been installed in the initial phase of the demonstration project will be replaced as part of a normal maintenance schedule once the work in the rest of the city has been completed.
The PLA estimates that the two demonstration areas will be completed in May, and that work will continue uninterrupted moving out into the remainder of the city.