Major lighting upgrades coming to Albany

Major lighting repairs coming to Albany. /Photo: Danielle Ledbetter

People who live in Albany could soon see some major lighting repairs.

At Thursday morning's utility board meeting, Albany City Manager Sharon Subadan updated the board on the project to upgrade city lights to LED.

She says that by mid-February, crews will be working on replacing lights across the city.

Crews plan to tackle the biggest lights first, the residential lights second and decorative downtown lights last, with the expectation to have the project done by summer.

Subadan says these new lights will be a game changer for the people of Albany.

"I see how areas are completely different when they're brightly lit, I think it helps people to feel safe." said Subadan. "I think it's a lot more difficult for crime to be committed when you have bright lights that almost look like daylight."

Subadan says currently there are 1,500 malfunctioning lights, either from Hurricane Michael or as a result of underground cable damage.

The utility board is hoping to fix that underground damage during the lighting upgrades.

If approved by the city commission, the goal is to use SPLOST VII money to fund the street light cable replacement.

Jimmy Norman, the director of Albany utilities operations, says the life of these cables are about 20 years and many of them were installed in the 1970's.

On Thursday, the utility board approved the recommendation for this project to be presented to Albany city commission.

"Our priority is to approach that 47,000 feet first, ahead of the led street light project, so when we get to the LED street lights in place and changed out that they're not sitting there and don't have power to them," said Norman.

Norman says crews are already working on some of the cables on Slappey Drive and around Lake Loretta.

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