NYC to switch all streetlights to LEDs

LED lamp posts illuminate the sidewalk along Eastern

LED lamp posts illuminate the sidewalk along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. (Oct. 24, 2013) (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

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Soon, New Yorkers will see the Big Apple in a new light.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced Thursday that work began to replace all of the city's 250,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LED bulbs by 2017.

The upgrade is the largest LED retrofit project in the nation and will save the city $14 million a year and reduce New York's carbon footprint by 30 percent in the next four years, Bloomberg said in a statement.

"With roughly a quarter-million streetlights in our city, upgrading to more energy-efficient lights is a large and necessary feat," Bloomberg said.

The city has already installed light-emitting diode bulbs on Manhattan's FDR Drive, along Central Park's pedestrian paths, on the lights that adorn the cables of the East River bridges and on Eastern Parkway's pedestrian lights between Grand Army Plaza and Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn.

David J. Burney, commissioner of the New York City Department of Design and Construction, said the Brooklyn location was the perfect place to roll out the LED lights.

"This project brought new median plazas, bike and pedestrian paths, water and sewer mains, and landscaping to one of Brooklyn's most well-traveled roadways," he said in a statement.

The remaining lights will be installed in three phases, eventually replacing 80,000 lights at a time throughout the five boroughs.

The $100 million project will be paid through the city's Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency initiative, which aims to fast-track green infrastructure programs.

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