- County Board approves $2.2 million contract
- Removes obsolete street lights and adds more along 1.5 mile stretch
- Improves safety and visibility
- Saves energy, costs with LED fixtures
The Arlington County Board today approved a $2.2 million contract for the upgrade of new LED (light-emitting diode) street lights along a 1.5-mile stretch of Lee Highway, between North Fort Myer Drive and North Veitch Street, as well as on adjacent local street approaches. These energy saving lights will improve visibility and enhance safety for all roadway users.
“This is a critical investment to replace aging infrastructure that is beyond repair,” said Mary Hynes, Chair of the Arlington County Board. “We want to make sure our streets are safe and well-lit so that our residents, workers and visitors feel comfortable walking, biking or driving in Arlington neighborhoods.”
The Board voted 4 to 0 (1 abstention) to award the contract to American Lighting and Signalization Inc. The project will consist of removing 60 obsolete streetlights and the installation of 146 poles and 270 streetlight luminaires. The increased number of poles and lighting fixtures are to meet current federal guidelines based on pedestrian and vehicular traffic counts.
Construction will begin this winter with completion targeted for the fall of 2016 (dependent on underground conditions).
Background and funding
The existing lighting system was installed several decades ago by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). VDOT then transferred ownership and maintenance to the County. Over the years, the streetlights and associated power supply have deteriorated to the point that a full reconstruction is necessary. The underground lines are in poor condition and unsafe to retrofit.
The project will be funded by County Transportation Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) funds and approved Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding.
About the streetlights program
The Transportation, Engineering and Operations Bureau within the Department of Environmental Services is responsible for maintaining 18,000 streetlights in the community. Of the streetlights that the County maintains, more than 7,000 are owned and maintained by the County, while the remainder are serviced and maintained by Dominion Virginia Power.
Arlington unveiled the latest state-of-the-art, intelligent, LED streetlights in 2010. Since then, 85 percent of County-owned and maintained streetlights in residential streets and commercial corridors have been converted to the new technology. The system’s wireless capacity allows the County to program lights automatically, according to the time of day and type of area (commercial or residential).They use approximately 75 percent less power in comparison to traditional technology, which reduces overall costs.