D.C. transportation officials announced, after a years-long process, that they’ve selected a contractor to conduct the city-wide lighting upgrade to LED lights, at a cost of $309 million. The work is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed within two years.
Replacing the fixtures will cut streetlight energy use in half, according to the District Department of Transportation, preventing 38,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year — equivalent to not driving about 87 million miles. The new lights will feature remote monitoring and control functionality: lights that are out can be identified in real time; poles will have tilt sensors, so the city can be alerted to any that are tipping over; and lights will be dimmable from afar.
The new LED lights will also be more directional than the current high-pressure sodium lights, so more light can be cast where it is needed — on sidewalks and streets — and less light will shine into residents’ windows and into the night sky.
The project will also include installing 239 Wi-Fi access points, greatly expanding the District’s public wireless broadband network.