New Street Lights Illuminate Pierre Neighborhoods
PIERRE, S.D. – The Pierre Electric Department continues to shine up neighborhoods throughout Pierre with new LED street lights.
For the past two and a half years, the department has systematically been swapping out old incandescent lights with the brighter white-light producing LED fixtures. Most recently, West Capitol Avenue from Central Avenue to Elizabeth Street received the upgrade, and the crew has now moved on to the Jefferson School neighborhood. Within the next two weeks, the Electric Department expects to install 24 new lights poles between Capitol Avenue and Fifth Street and Maple and Euclid Avenues.
“The brighter lights certainly give the neighborhoods a boost,” said Ryan Grant, Pierre Electric Superintendent. “However, the community benefit goes far beyond aesthetics.”
Grant is referring to the energy and cost-savings the tax payers realize from the change. The LED lights burn about 45% less energy than the traditional lights, and the life-span of the new fixtures is five times that of the old lights.
Efficiencies are also found in the underground infrastructure that feeds the new lights. Because the LED lights are brighter, they don’t need to be placed on both sides of the street. Instead, the LED lights can line one side of the street and provide a better degree of illumination. This means underground infrastructure can be reduced to one side of the street.
Throughout the last couple of years, the Electric Department has installed 200 of the new lights throughout the community, including along Governors Drive, North Harrison Avenue, near Kennedy Elementary, Historic Pierre Street, and Dakota Avenue. The electrical department will continue to replace lights throughout the community in accordance with its replacement schedule.
The City’s electrical utility serves more than 7,300 customers. The Electric Department’s ten employees are responsible for the transmission and distribution of the City’s electricity, as well as 3,000 street lights, traffic signals and city electrician needs.