Economic Benefits of Transportation,  Oregon,  Reliability

Changing light fixtures creates $700,000 savings

We all like talking about our projects that save money, save energy and reduce carbon emissions. And that’s exactly what the Oregon Department of Transportation is doing with the installation of new light-emitting diode, or LED light fixtures.

In May 2020, crews began converting more than 8,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights in the Portland area to LED. The change should reduce the state’s energy bill for street lighting in the Portland area by half, saving taxpayers $700,000 to $800,000 a year. In addition, it will lower carbon emissions by an estimated 3,500 tons a year because of the reduced energy use.

Most high-pressure sodium lights require maintenance every two to four years but the new LED fixtures need replacing every 15 to 20 years. The longer lifecycle for each LED fixture also means less disruption to traffic created when maintenance workers replace lights.

Work began the week of May 26, 2020, and will continue through the summer of 2021. Most work will take place at night to minimize traffic impacts and will involve shoulder or single lane closures. There will also be some multiple-lane night closures in tunnels and night closures of single-lane on-ramps and off-ramps.

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