Infrastructure

Brockton, Mass., Nears End of $3M Citywide Lighting Project

The move away from the costly high-pressure sodium bulbs and toward 9,000 energy-efficient LED fixtures could save the city as much as 60 percent on annual energy costs.

by Marc Larocque, The Enterprise / November 12, 2018
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(TNS) — Let there be lights.

About 100 more should do the trick.

Brockton Department of Public Works Commissioner Larry Rowley said the city is nearing the completion of the streetlight replacement project, doing away with old-fashioned high-pressure sodium bulbs, and putting modern, energy-efficient LED fixtures in their place.

The project, with an estimated cost of $3.3 million, involves the replacement of 9,000 streetlights. And now there are only about 100 sodium bulbs yet to be replaced with LED lights, said Rowley, speaking to the City Council Finance Committee on Monday night.

Rowley said that an initial audit conducted to assess the light replacement project missed the roughly 100 light bulbs, requiring additional work after the bulk of the project was declared completed on Oct. 1.

The issue was brought up by Brockton Ward 5 City Councilor Anne Beauregard, who noticed some of the streetlights in her ward that were not yet modernized. Beauregard wondered out loud how the city verifies if all the streetlights have been updated, before Rowley joked that she was the one buzzing around and letting everyone know which lights were missed.

"I wonder if there is a drone that goes around and checks," Beauregard said.

"No, just you Anne, just you," Rowley said. "If you see them, call me or call the office, and we'll change them out."

Rowley gave glowing remarks about the contractor that has been doing the installations of the new LED streetlights, the Wilmington-based Dagle Electrical Construction Corporation.

"The installation company is great," he said. "They come every Wednesday. We give them a list and change them all out. ... All the schools have been done. When it's done and over with, we should probably see about a 60 percent savings (on electricity for the streetlights)."

Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter has said previously that the city would be able to recover half of the estimated project cost of the LED lights through the state's Green Communities Grant and National Grid incentives. In the all of 2017, Brockton received $283,00 from the state's Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program in order to complete the project.

The rest of the costs will be recovered within three years or less from the energy savings that come with the new fixtures, the Brockton mayor said.

Beauregard said she was happy with the progress, adding that better lighting can improve public safety, in terms of pedestrian safety and crime.

"This is so good on so many levels," she said. "These lights are positively terrific. It does so much for the streets themselves. If the streetlights are working, it's a deterrent for crime. That's an added bonus."

Councilor At-large Robert Sullivan told Beauregard to remember that City Council needs credit for approving the streetlight conversion project.

"It's thanks to the council, Anne. We tend to forget that," said Sullivan, before cracking a joke. "That's why I got a streetlight tattoo on my arm right now."

©2018 The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.