The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit said Tuesday it had hit two major milestones.
It has installed its 10,000th new LED street light and has closed on a $185 million bond issue. The bonds will allow the installation of the remaining 55,000 planned lights.
“Both of these accomplishments are major landmarks as we work to relight the city of Detroit,” said PLA Executive Director Odis Jones. “On the installation front, our crews have been going all out in their work to install new lights and are well ahead of our original schedule. This past week they installed more than 800 lights, far in excess of the target of 500 per week. As a result, we are more than 1,000 lights ahead of our original schedule and are able to report that today we installed the 10,000th new LED street light."
Mayor Mike Duggan said the accelerated installation performance "means that more citizens of Detroit are seeing new lights in their neighborhood every day, something that is a very welcome sight indeed. Detroiters have waited far too long for reliable street lights and now they are starting to see them."
The 10,000 lights are the first of some 65,000 new LED streetlights that will be installed throughout the City’s neighborhoods before the end of 2015 and on major thoroughfares before the end of 2016.
The original plan adopted by the PLA Board provided for 50,000 new street lights. That plan was based on the assumption that the Authority would be able to sell $160 million in bonds at a 6.5 percent interested rate to fund the installation. However, this past Thursday the Authority, working with the Michigan Finance Authority, was able to sell the bonds at a 4.5 percent average interest rate, which meant it was able to raise an additional $25 million, resulting in the total sale of $185 million. That means the Authority will have the funds to purchase and install an additional 15,000 lights, bringing the total number of lights being installed in the city to the 65,000 total.
The LED lights being installed in neighborhoods are the lighting equivalent of 150 watt high pressure sodium lights, more than twice as bright as the 75 watt high pressure sodium lights that have been the standard in the past.
About the Public Lighting Authority of Detroit
The PLA was authorized by the Michigan Legislature in December, 2012 and approved by Detroit City Council in 2013 to design and implement a plan to improve Detroit’s public lighting system. The PLA is governed by a five-member board, all Detroit residents, appointed by the mayor and the city council.