Superintendent Jorge Carrasco announced today that City Light will conduct annual testing of all metal streetlight poles and equipment. “Since we completed all of the testing of our metal streetlights in January, there have been a couple of reports of poles with voltage present,” said Carrasco.
Initially we planned to do testing on a four-year cycle where a quarter of our service territory would be tested each year. However, we decided that because many parts of our streetlight system have equipment that is more than forty years old, we needed to test it more frequently.”
Starting in late summer, City Light will re-test all of the equipment that was tested in late December of 2010 and in early January of 2011. The utility plans to repeat this process every year in advance of storm season. In addition, City Light continues its re-lamping program. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamp heads will be replaced every four years, while LED streetlights will be on a much longer replacement cycle of eight to ten years. Crews will inspect and test all streetlights after the re-lamping work has been completed.
“Our plan is to do the testing and report to the community what we find every year,” adds Carrasco. “It’s important that the public and our customers are assured we are taking the necessary precautions to enhance streetlight safety.”
Additional measures related to streetlights include a ten-year plan to up-date all grounding and wiring mechanism in order to meet current standards. The utility also will repair and restore underground service to approximately 750 streetlights currently powered by temporary overhead lines.
“I am pleased to see the utility taking such aggressive action to improve the electrical service to our streetlight system,” stated Seattle City Council Member Bruce Harrell, chairman of the Council’s Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “It’s important that we continue to make necessary investments in our critical infrastructure systems.”
City Light currently is in the fourth phase of its four-year re-lamping effort, replacing lamp heads in areas north of 65th Street. Approximately 10,000 LED streetlamps will be installed in residential areas of the City Lights northern most service territory. The work should be completed by November.
The public can help City Light in its streetlight efforts. City Light urges the public that if they suspect voltage at any metal streetlight pole or associated metal fixture to report the incident immediately by telephone to the Streetlight Hotline (206) 684-7056.