The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) plans to implement a phased program in which LED technology will be used to replace existing high pressure sodium (HPS) roadway lights across the state highway system. The projected time frame required to execute the large scale replacement of streetlight fixtures is estimated to be between five and ten years. As many as 65,000 LED streetlights will be installed.
“The first phase of the project targets between 30,000 and 40,000 lamps, which will be installed throughout the state highway system,” said Tony Tavares, division chief for maintenance at Caltrans. Included in the state roadway system are California interstate highways, national highways, and inter-regional routes. Initial plans indicate that the first phase of installations will target the San Francisco Bay Area and portions of Southern California.
“We had very favorable results from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge pilot in 2007. Energy savings were in the 30%-50% range,” said Tavares. Subsequent advancements in solid-state lighting should result in even greater energy savings. Initial calculations indicate that expected annual energy cost savings for the state will be approximately $2 million. The project will be paid for by existing Caltrans funds. The project cost is estimated between $4 million and $5 million.
“We are not specifying a particular fixture for the upcoming bid, however, we will have specific performance requirements,” said Tavares. Preparations for the project are underway, and bid information is expected in about two months. Installation is expected to begin around July or August 2012.