Waterville Public Works Moves to Install LED Street Lights

The Waterville Department of Public Works (DPW) recently announced a street light conversion project to replace the bulbs in the city’s street lights from  high-pressure sodium bulbs with Light Emitting Diode, (LED) bulbs.

In an email to the Echo, Director of Public Works Mark Turner explained the decision to embark on this project was made through a city council vote which authorized $600,000 in funding.

Explaining the impetus behind the decision, Turner said “ultimately, this was a cost reduction initiative. We anticipate saving approximately $250,000 annually on the cost of electricity and lease fees to Central Maine Power. We currently pay $300,000 per year.”

DPW cited many other benefits of this project in their announcement. These included up to 70% on annual energy savings, higher quality lighting which is “softer with less overspread” and a reduction of light pollution.

Turner relayed that the DPW is not anticipating the installation of the new bulbs will cause any disruptions to traffic or the illumination of roads.

As for the current use of LED bulbs, “many of the city’s buildings and parking lots are equipped with LED lighting,” Turner wrote. “The Waterville School Department and Public Library have also upgraded significant portions of their facilities.

This project will see a replacement of all of Waterville’s 1,492 street lights.

Turner relayed that next steps in creating a more environmentally sustainable Waterville is in the works. 

“A large solar farm is planned for our former landfill,” he shared. “Our transportation network planning will continue to focus more and more on pedestrian and biking users, as well as broader mass transportation options. Solid waste issues will experience transitional changes in how we better manage trash, recycling and food wastes.”

The Department’s announcement of the project stated that “work will begin in just a few short weeks.”

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