Lighting repairs begin in several Detroit neighborhoods

Lighting repairs begin in several Detroit neighborhoods

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Officials show off what one of roughly 5,000 new street lights will look like in several Detroit neighborhoods. Officials show off what one of roughly 5,000 new street lights will look like in several Detroit neighborhoods.
Crew work to replace broken street lights on Detroit's east side Friday. Crew work to replace broken street lights on Detroit's east side Friday.

DETROIT (WJBK) -- Life is about to get brighter for residents in several Detroit neighborhoods as needed upgrades to the lighting system are underway.

Work began Friday at two pilot areas chosen by the Detroit Public Lighting Authority to get roughly 5,000 new street lights before the end of the year. The East Side Demonstration Project boundaries are 8 Mile, Kelly Road, Hoover, and Houston Whittier. The west side boundaries are McNichols, Southfield road, Finkle and Telegraph.

This is the first step in a three-year $160 million revamping of the city's antiquated lighting system. Right now there are about 88,000 street lights in Detroit. About half of them don't work. And by the end of the three-year project they hope to whittle the number needed down to about 45,000.

Here's what dignitaries had to say about today's first step.

"We want to make sure that these lights are on so people feel safe and people start to have pride in their neighborhoods and their communities," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing."

"It's not going to happen overnight, but when it does it will be a long-term solution, not another band-aid on a problem that has existed in our city for 40 years," said Maureen Stapleton, chair of the Public Lighting Authority. "There has been a 40-year disinvestment in public lighting that brings us to the problems we are having today."

"They want to do this right the first time," Mike Moriary, president at Overhead Lines, LLC. "They're taking their time, getting the engineering right, finding the right materials, the right supplies, and really giving a quality product."

The light bulbs used in the program are about 150 watts of high-pressured sodium that project out further than the prior lights.

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