OKLAHOMA CITY – “Actually I’ve been seeing going down some highways sometimes, every now and then there will be a section of lights out,” said Oklahoma City Resident Brian Ware.
Street light outages: a problem leaders with Oklahoma City and OG&E have been trying to fix.
Tuesday at a city council meeting, they gave us an update on their repairs.
“Several months ago, it was noted that there was a lot of copper theft in OKC… we were wrestling with issues on the highway that weren’t due to just natural outage,” said Director of Public Works Eric Wendger.
Five locations are still in the dark.
“Interstate 40 from I-44 to I-35, this also includes a portion of the blvd lighting,” said Wendger.
Another outage at Reno and the Tinker Diagonal, due to new copper theft.
Police have launched six investigations into those recent cases.
“It’ll be dark sometimes you can’t even see the lines in the streets,” said Ware. “Maybe if they were lit up a little better it’d be easier to navigate around.”
City leaders say construction is the reason for most of the outages.
“I-240 and I-35 and then the final two that are on this list, again related to construction by ODOT, I-44 between 235 to Lincoln and I-44 southbound to westbound bridge at 39th expressway,” said Wendger.
As repairs continue, workers are also busy converting all 250,000 street lights to L.E.D.
“The advantage of doing that with LED lights is that they actually have a digital controller on top of them, so we have two-way communication between the light and our control center so if the light goes out we will know it and we know where it is,” said OGE spokesperson Kathleen O’Shea.
One set back, with the pedestrian lights a part of Project 180.
City leaders are still waiting on parts to replace the pedestrian lights, street lights are on track to finish in September.
38 out of the total 158 pedestrian lights have been replaced.
When it comes to street lights in Project 180, 74 out of the 169 have been replaced.
O’Shea says the cost, more expensive up front but better in the long run.
“They may be a little more expensive to start with but again they prove out because they last longer,” she said.
OG&E says they’re estimating about 3 years before all lights can be replaced with L.E.D.
If you see a street light outage, click here to report it on their website.