Work is starting on the south side of the City moving to the north
Project is another major step forward on Syracuse Surge strategy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced that the changeover to more efficient street lights that deliver better quality lighting for neighborhoods has begun. As planned under the City of Syracuse’s acquisition of its citywide street light network, a contractor has begun replacing all street lights in the City with new LED lighting fixtures.

Crews will be moving through the City from south to north, covering all neighborhoods beginning with initial installations this week. They will change approximately 3000 lights per month during good weather. Work will continue until winter, resume in spring 2020, and finish by the end of the 2020 construction season.  When the replacement is complete, the City will have better, more consistent lighting city-wide, and will realize significant operational cost savings.

“This project is one of the ways we are taking control of our future.  With ownership of our street light network, we can reap the benefits of energy saving LED lights. The new lights and lower maintenance costs are expected to save about $3 million a year, more than covering the cost of the acquisition,” Mayor Walsh said. “Even better, the lights will deliver better quality, more reliable lighting for neighborhoods. This will mean more lights working, fewer outages, and fewer maintenance visits.”

More information and frequently asked questions on the street light conversion are available at​. The link includes a map of where crews will be working during the next two weeks.  It will be updated throughout the course of the project. All of the “cobra head” style lights will be changed out first. Then the contractor will return to areas that have decorative lighting, and replace those lights afterward.

The Syracuse Common Council approved the $38 million dollar purchase and conversion of the City’s street light network in mid-2018. In addition to the changeover to more efficient lighting, the poles will be used to install sensors that will deliver “Smart City” technologies for the City.  Working in partnership with the New York Power Authority and Governor Cuomo, Syracuse has been named New York State’s flagship Smart City.

“The street light acquisition is an important part of the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. Members of the Council deserve significant credit for putting Syracuse in a leadership position and for helping the City improve lighting in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh.  “Better lighting will lead to safer streets and more enjoyable communities. The street light system provides the backbone for a citywide “Smart City” technology network that will help us improve services, operate more efficiently and build a stronger economy.”

At any time, residents can report a street light outage or other issue by calling CityLine (315-448-CITY) weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or report online anytime at  Residents should be sure to report the pole number and whether the issue affects an old street light or a new LED light. Old “cobra head” style lights can be identified by yellow or blue labels on the bottom of the light head, while new LED lights will have white “LED” labels. Old and new decorative lights will look the same, but residents should still provide the pole number to help speed response time.

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