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Upgrades shine light on Park

February 07, 2013
GROSSE POINTE PARK — DTE Energy is beginning work this week on the installation of new lighting systems in Grosse Pointe Park which should help eliminate recurring streetlight outages that have plagued the city for several years.

The $3 million upgrade involves replacing nearly 500 streetlights operating on an antiquated series-type system. A series circuit operates on one line, meaning that if one light burns out, the entire series goes dark. Oftentimes compared to the old Christmas tree light strands, one streetlight burning out meant the lights would be out on several blocks at a time.

The new system, which will use high-pressure sodium lights, does not operate on a series system, with each light operating independently.

According to Park city administrator Dale Krajniak, the project will begin with lights along Kercheval in the Park’s business district. Other areas scheduled for the upgrade include a stretch of Kercheval from Cadieux to Devonshire, several blocks of Three Mile, Bedford and Devonshire and a series of lights in the area of Charlevoix between Buckingham and Nottingham.

DTE estimates every project will take between 30 and 40 days. Signs will be posted on those lights scheduled to be replaced and residents will be informed when the lights will be out in their area.

Krajniak said the new lights will help reduce overall costs to the city, and should cut down dramatically residents’ complaints about streetlights not working.

The outages have been a concern for residents for several years, and in 2011, city council member Greg Theokis called it a public safety issue and demanded DTE take action to improve the situation. City officials at the time urged residents to report outages directly to DTE as well as the city’s Public Safety department, and the Public Safety department also notified DTE of the outages. The city’s website also provided a link to DTE which residents could use to report outages.

“This has been a problem for several years, and we’re pleased to see DTE taking this seriously,” Krajniak said. “We have had several meetings with DTE officials, and we’re pleased they are listening to the concerns and frustrations of our residents.”

DTE emphasized power to residents and businesses will not be affected during the upgrade. Additional information can be found on the DTE website, dteenergy.com. Residents with questions can also contact DTE Energy’s Community Lighting department, (800) 548-4655.

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