DETROIT -

Just months after spending big money to get the lights up and running on I-94, the freeway is once again plunged into darkness thanks to copper thieves -- and this time, it may be lights out for quite a while.

It took MDOT months and a lot of money to rewire and lamp I-94 from Conner to Eight Mile. Now back again in the dark, from Conner to Cadieux.

Scrap metal thieves have pulled all the new copper wiring from the poles and quite frankly, the money isn't there to redo it right now.

"It does seem ridiculous that we would keep replacing it and in theory, our own residents would come in and seal it time and time again," said Dwight Buffington.

Enough says State Rep. Rashida Tlaib as she's proposing a bill that cracks down on the scrap metal industry.

The bill would make it impossible for scrappers to get paid immediately. Instead, there would be a three-day waiting period and a check would be issued. There will be no cash so a paper trail would exist.

"We're second in the country when it comes to insurance claims for scrap metal claims," said Tlaib. "We've heard it all. The horror stories are awful."