It’s lights out in Dearborn starting next week, but with the ultimate goal of upgrading the city’s street lighting to make it energy efficient, and more reliable.
Construction begins Monday, June 11, on Oakman Boulevard between Warren and Ford roads, according to DTE Energy, which is responsible for the work.
That phase will take two months to complete, and is part of a $4 million effort by DTE to improve street lighting service in a number of communities in Wayne County this year.
DTE Energy will upgrade older streetlights that are energized by “series circuits,” which pose problems because when one light goes out, other lights on the circuit can be affected. The upgrades to high-pressure sodium lighting will improve overall reliability of the street light system in the community.
“We’re partnering with local officials to invest in their communities and significantly reduce street light outages,” said Ed Henderson, DTE Energy manager of Community Lighting. “This work will reduce the number and duration of outages, use more energy-efficient fixtures and enhance public safety.”
According to DTE spokesman Scott Simons, the work should be done by the end of the year, and will also result in more energy efficient lighting.
This comes just after the Dearborn City Council announced that it will need to allocate $200,000 more in the fiscal year 2012-13 budget toward DTE costs.
Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly has highlighted the city's efforts to go green and thus, save money–including upgrading traffic signals, as well as and adding electric vehicle charging stations to several parking garages.
"The goal was to begin to retrofit other public entities," O'Reilly said at the Adopt-A-Watt unveiling last November. "We’ve done parking lots. We’ve done traffic signals. We’ve done some streetlights. We’re really trying to figure out how we can lessen our carbon footprint and get some good long term investment that’s going to pay off over time."
Simons said that communities can expect to see cost reductions from the DTE streetlight upgrades.
However, if things seem a little dark on Oakman Boulevard this summer, it's not your eyes. During the months when the work is being completed, street lighting will be turned off in the affected areas.
According to DTE, signs will be posted on streetlights that are affected by the upgrade work, and door hangers will be left at area homes and businesses to notify them that work is being done.
Any community member with questions regarding the project can contact DTE Energy’s Community Lighting department at 800-548-4655.