Reporting Marie Osborne
DETROIT (WWJ) – If you live in the city of Detroit, do your have lights come on when it gets dark outside? Lighting is one of the biggest issues facing the city and starting this week, something will be done to see just how big the problem is.
Fewer than half of Detroit’s 88,000 streetlights are believed to be working, and Public Lighting Authority (PLA) will begin a block-by-block review of street lights in two Detroit neighborhoods this week.
PLA Executive Director Odis Jones said the review will map each street light in the two areas being surveyed, determine whether the light is working and if it is not working, identify the cause of the malfunction. That information will be used to design new street lighting for both areas.
“The survey work that is being conducted will allow us to collect new and accurate information about the lighting in both project areas, and then to design the best lighting plan for both pilot areas,” said Jones. “We will use the information we gather to design a specific plan to relight both of these areas as a prelude to moving out into the rest of the city to completely restore street lighting over the next three years.”
Jones said workers conducting the surveys will be wearing yellow vests with the PLA logo and will be driving vehicles with PLA signs on the side of the vehicle.
The east side demo project will be in an area roughly with boundaries of Eight Mile, Kelly Rd., Hoover and Houston Whittier. The west side demo project will have boundaries of McNichols on the north, Southfield Rd. on the east, Fenkell on the south and Telegraph on the west.
Jones said the PLA will be holding a vendor fair in early October to help vendors identify opportunities for work for the authority and authority contractors. Details of the vendor fair will be announced once they are finalized.
“The PLA board is committed to assuring that Detroit-based firms and Detroit workers are fully involved in this project as we begin to relight the City of Detroit,” said PLA Board vice chair Marvin Beatty.
After approval from City Council, the Public Lighting Authority was set up earlier this year to design and implement the plan to improve Detroit’s public lighting system. Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation last year to allow lighting authorities in some cities.
Last week, Wayne State University, the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, the City-County building, the Detroit Historical Museum and the People Mover — all on the city’s aging electrical grid — lost power. City officials blamed the outage on cable failures, high temperatures and routine maintenance.