After three years of work and $185 million spent, Detroit finally has new streetlights. Moreover, it becomes the biggest American city to have only LED streetlights.
The mayor and many of the residents are happy about the new developments, but some remain skeptical when it comes to the efficiency of the lighting system.
A Big Investment For The City
The final 65,000 streetlights have just been installed in Detroit, ending a three-year effort to make the city safer and more pleasant for its residents.
The city is currently recovering from a very troubled period, marked by economic problems and crime, and the development seems to be a good sign.
The administration in charge of the project takes pride in the way it was managed. The lights were installed on time and the overall effort even seems to have been cheaper than estimated.
A spokesman for the lighting authority stated that the project team was able to save up "a few millions," but so far declined to reveal the exact cost of the streetlights.
The city needs to repay the $185 million in bonds used for the lights; the process will last 30 years, as the sum of $12.5 million is to be paid each year from the utility tax collected in Detroit.
Many people were quite excited about the new changes, especially as some blocks don't have streetlights at all for a very long period of time. The dire situation of the streetlights made many locals feel unsafe when going out during the night.
The recent waves of crime, together with the state of the infrastructure were among the main factors to determine residents to move out to other cities.
The efficient management of the situation of the streetlights, however, brings a glimmer of hope that things are about to change, as also stated by Mayor Mike Duggan:
"The condition of the streetlights is no longer a symbol of decay in the city of Detroit. The fact that this city is lit from one end to another is a sign of hope," he noted.
Some other locals are more skeptical though, especially when it comes to the choice of LED lights. Some people complain about the fact that the placement of the new lights is actually inferior to the old one, leaving parts of some blocks completely dark.
This phenomenon provides good hideaways for criminals. In fact, some actually blame the new streetlights for certain crimes, especially thefts. Also, the quality of the light itself is considered by some residents to be inferior to that of the older solutions.