Traffic signals in the city of Collinsville will receive an upgrade.
Incandescent light bulbs will be changed to more energy- and cost-efficient LED lights; the City Council unanimously approved the change at its April 9 meeting.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will be making the improvements. The project's total cost will be $1.265 million. That includes $1,007,720 to change the electronic component of the traffic signals; $165,000 for construction costs; and $92,280 for bulb replacement.
Street Department Director Rod Cheatham said the city will only be responsible for $4,614, which is 5 percent of the cost to replace the bulbs. He said $1,600 of that will come from tax increment finance district funds and the remainder will come from motor fuel tax funds.
"The advantage to LED (bulbs) are the lower amount of power usage and exceptionally longer life," Cheatham said. "But the biggest thing — while you do have a considerable saving in cost in electricity — the biggest thing is going to come in maintenance. It is expensive to have these contractors come out and change these light bulbs."
IDOT is responsible for the maintenance of the city's traffic signals; the city and IDOT share the costs for electricity, Cheatham said. He said electricity for the traffic signals currently costs about $30,000 annually. LED lights will be "90 percent more efficient," he said. Additionally, Cheatham said the current light bulbs need to replaced after 2,000-3,000 hours; the new light bulbs have about 50,000 hours of life.
Cheatham said the new LED light bulbs will also be better because they are not temperature sensitive, they're shock resistant and they are not damaged by "cycling," or turning them on and off.
Cheatham said IDOT has not told him when the project will begin. He does not anticipate street closures when the bulbs are switched.
"I would think that there could be lane closures," he said. "Most of it they can do with having a boom truck sitting on the side of the road."
Contact reporter Ramona C. Sanders at 618-344-0264, ext. 136