City to resume streetlight conversion project

By Leah Murray
August 24, 2017 - 3:34pm Updated: August 24, 2017 - 7:14pm

 

MEDICINE HAT, AB — The City of Medicine Hat is resuming its streetlight conversion project.

The project has been on hold for the past two years due to a lack of funding.

In 2013, a city wide conversion of all High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights started.

The money to convert the old lights to the more energy efficient and environmentally friendly bulbs came in the form of Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grants.

In 2013, the city converted all of Crescent Heights to the new street lights. In 2014, the southwest industrial and residential areas were switched over.

The project sat in limbo for two years as there was no MSI funding for the project.

The city said there is now money to complete the conversion this year and they will begin moving forward with it again this fall.

“I hope we should be done by the end of this year, all the lights should be converted in all parts of the city,” said planning engineer Sandeep Pareek. “We have done two major conversions before and this will be the third phase, so hopefully the third phase will be the last.”

The first and second phase, plus converting all the traffic signal lights in the city to LED lights, cost $2.25 million dollars, this last phase will cost an estimated $2.3 million.

The city said the lights use about 50 per cent less electricity and have a life span of 15 to 20 years, instead of the four to five years the old lights have. Based on that, the city said the project will pay for itself in seven or eight years.

Pareek adds the old lights contain hazardous substances like mercury and must be handled carefully.

The LED bulbs are also dark-sky approved, meaning they don’t cause light pollution.

Choice, control are important when packing school lunches