By Chris Schweitzer, General Manager, City of Auburn Electric Department
The City of Auburn and Auburn Electric have launched a streetlight upgrade program for downtown and other primary corridors. Beginning with a pilot project this week, residents will begin to see existing “cobra head” streetlights replaced with decorative LED fixtures. These upgrades are an important component of recent downtown revitalization efforts.
The streetlight project will continue over the next few years and will include:
- Refurbishing more than 30 existing decorative streetlights
- Installing, upgrading and/or replacing approximately 200 non-decorative lighting fixtures with new decorative poles and fixtures
- Upgrading all other non-decorative lights from HID to more efficient LED technology
- Removing excess poles/fixtures through improved and strategic placement
- Adopting a master lighting update plan so that improvements can be implemented in a strategic, budgeted manner as opportunities arise
Shedding Light on the Benefits
Many existing streetlights and poles have exceeded their useful life and are in need of replacement, so this project allows us to update an important part of city infrastructure and uncover a host of other benefits. For starters, the city’s investment in new lighting will be offset by cost savings realized through the use of energy-efficient LED technology—making it a win-win on all accounts. Additionally, these upgrades employ modern lighting technology that produces better coverage and greatly reduces the light pollution that creates “night glow.” Finally, the streetlight upgrades complement recent private investments in the Auburn’s downtown corridor, reflecting the true essence of public-private collaboration and further enhancing downtown’s appeal.
Just like the Sixth and Main Street Revitalization Project, the streetlight project showcases the pride many of us feel for this city. It’s another way we’re coming together to make Auburn a true “Home of the Classics” with community spaces that are inviting to residents and visitors alike.