CHICAGO (CBS)–A year into a four-year streetlight modernization program, the City of Chicago says that so far more than 76,000 LED streetlights have been installed–mostly in Chicago’s violence-prone south and west sides.
By switching to energy-efficient LED streetlights, the City expects to cut its streetlight electricity costs in half, a savings officials estimate at approximately $100 million over 10 years. Utility savings from the first year of the program are estimated to be up to $1 million, according to a press release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.
The Chicago Department of Transportation is replacing 270,000 of Chicago’s street, alley and viaduct lights with high-quality LED fixtures during its four-year timeframe. Chicago is also installing a citywide lighting management system for the new LED lights. When it becomes operational later this year, the system will alert the City when lights need service, according to the mayor’s office.
So far, LED’s have been installed in all 50 wards in the city, including along the full length of Lake Shore Drive.
“We are very pleased with the progress we have achieved in the first year of the Chicago Smart Lighting Program,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide clearer, more reliable streetlights for every Chicago neighborhood and deliver significant savings for the taxpayers.”
Track the progress of Chicago’s LED streetlight installations at http://chicagosmartlighting.org.