ODOT starts conversion to LED lighting

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ODOT starts major conversion to LED lighting

May 22, 2020

Contact: Don Hamilton, 503-704-7452

PORTLAND – Work gets under way next week on conversion of more than 8,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights in the Portland area to light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures in a project that will save money, save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

The change should reduce ODOT’s energy bill for street lighting in the Portland area by half, saving taxpayers $700,000 to $800,000 a year.

In addition, ODOT expects lower carbon emissions because of the reduced energy use.  And with ODOT maintenance crews spending less time replacing high-pressure sodium lights, they will be able to spend more time on other projects.

Work begins the week of May 26 and will continue intermittently through the summer of 2021. Most work will take place at night to minimize traffic impacts and will involve shoulder or single lane closures. There will also be some multiple-lane night closures in tunnels and night closures of single lane on-ramps and off-ramps.

For details about closures go to the project website.

“We’re very excited to get this project under way in the Portland area because it will reduce carbon emissions, save taxpayers money and improve safety for ODOT maintenance staff” sad Rian Windsheimer, ODOT manager for the Portland area. “This project is a win across the board.”

Most high-pressure sodium lights in the Portland area today require maintenance every two to four years but the new LED fixtures need replacing every 15 to 20 years. The longer lifecycle for each LED fixture also means less disruption to traffic created when maintenance workers replace lights.

The conversion to LED fixtures will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 3,500 tons a year in the Portland area based on lower energy usage.

The work will take place on roads maintained by ODOT -- including interstates, U.S. highways and state highways -- in Clackamas, Hood River and Multnomah counties and eastern Washington County.

New fixtures are also planned for both the Glenn Jackson and Interstate bridges.

Most of the new LED lights will have a color temperature of 3,000 Kelvin and will not shine any light above the fixtures. This lighting is considered dark sky friendly.

A few locations, including ODOT tunnels, will use 4,000 Kelvin fixtures. A majority of bicycle and pedestrian pathway lighting will use 2,700 Kelvin fixtures. ODOT is working with our Portland area historian to ensure the new LED fixtures maintain historical lighting styles while meeting new requirements.

For more information, including maps and FAQs, visit the project website.