On Thursday, December 15th, Detroit has officially become the first state in the U.S. to be powered solely by LEDs. The project to improve the city’s lighting system began nearly three years ago and aimed to replace Detroit’s inefficient high-pressure sodium lights with approximately 65,000 LEDs.
The final stretch was completed on Thursday, near the intersection of Atwater and Riopelle streets. The Public Lighting Authority was established back in 2013 in an effort to rid Detroit citizens of the faulty lighting system that was more often than not out of service.
Together with the help of the city mayor, Mike Duggan, the Public Lighting Authority was able to replace the old system with the improved lighting network one year ahead of term and with fewer expenses than anticipated.
A White House official, Shaun Donovan, the director of Management and Budget Office was present at the inauguration. Also, Dr. Lorna Thomas, the head of the Public Lighting Authority spoke on behalf of the organization.
“Three years ago, when I took the role of chair, nobody believed Detroit’s streetlights would ever be functioning”, said Dr. Thomas.
Nevertheless, Detroiters present at the ceremony were able to see the results of the PLA’s hard work in collaboration with the city officials with their own eyes. Before the new system was functional, the city officials say that as much as 40 percent of Detroit’s population was living in the dark with as many as 88,000 out of service light bulbs responsible for the situation.
When asked more about the project, Dr. Lorna Thomas says that demanded DTE Energy to provide the Public Lighting Authority with only the best there is, as Detroit will not accept a “second-class lighting system”.
Shaun Donovan congratulated the mayor on this great achievement by saying that Detroit has now become a role model for the entire nation, as well as the rest of the world. Thursday, Detroit became the first city in America to be powered by 100 percent LED lighting.
A city resident was also at the ceremony. According to Bryan Ferguson, his greatest joy is that he will no longer be forced to roam the streets in the dark any longer. He recalls that before the new system was set in place, he probably walked by 2,000 houses, 15 streets and 45 blocks in complete darkness.
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