Streetlight repairs on hold while replacements are installed

KENNEWICK -- No doubt you're pulling the coat on a little tighter, and turning the lights on earlier.

But the signs of the season are raising concerns about another problem altogether: Streetlights that aren't working in parts of Kennewick.

KEPR got several emails into the newsroom wondering about lights at the intersection of Canal and Volland. They said the bulbs have been off for months, and they wanted to know why they're not being fixed.

So, we turned to Kennewick City Hall for answers.

Spokesman Evelyn Lusignan says that intersection is actually one of several locations with lights that need maintenance or repairs.

But she says right now, crews are focused on a different project that will soon replace every streetlight in the city. Pole by pole, they're updating from high-pressure sodium to induction lightbulbs.

Federal grants are paying for the update. The city is also getting a rebate from the PUD for replacing the bulbs.But the funding stipulates the project must be complete by the end of the year.

Lusignan says the rushed effort is worth it. Energy use will be cut in half with the new bulbs. And maintenance costs stand to be slashed by even more.

The new bulbs are expected to last 24 years, instead of 6.

But because replacements are the top priority for the time being, other projects like repairs at Canal and Volland are taking a backseat.

The city says it is keeping track of sites that need attention, and crews will be addressing them after January 1.