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A new control system allowed Springfield to more quickly assess storm damage to its new streetlights

A lit streetlight against a blue sky, with part of a green street sign in the lower corner
City of Springfield
This streetlight on Centennial Boulevard was not affected by the ice storm.

The January ice storm threw a monkey wrench into the City of Springfield’s project to replace its 5,000 or so streetlights with new LED fixtures.

Scott Miller is a traffic operations engineer with the city. He said the storm damaged wiring or fixtures in a couple of hundred of the lights.

He told KLCC the good news is, the new lights have a control system.

“We were able to turn on all of the lights that had already been converted over in that project, and turn them on remotely," he said, "which helped perform that damage assessment, ‘cause we could actually go out physically and look, see if lights were on or not, and then also look for any other signs of damage.”

Miller said crews will be at work for several months, both replacing the rest of the old lights and repairing the newly-installed ones.

He said the Springfield Utility Board focused on getting power back to homes and businesses first, and the utility is still determining which streetlights are out because of damage to the power system.

Miller said, like tree debris, some streetlight equipment is still on the ground, awaiting pickup. He said it shouldn’t be energized, but people should be cautious, and leave it alone.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.