Author Topic: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway  (Read 1292 times)
EpicStreetlights
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"Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « on: August 30, 2016, 08:47:39 PM » Author: EpicStreetlights
A few weeks ago, I was on the I-35E parkway stretch, and I noticed that a fair amount of the streetlights had been cut, leaving only the bases and small amounts of the pole. I'm sure some other Minnesota folks (Zarlog and MDCastle) have noticed the same thing, so i'm wondering what prompted MNDOT to get rid of all of these lights. Also note the remaining few lights are still HPS, and date back to the early-1980s(?), so the freeway may finally be getting a much-needed upgrade. 
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 09:16:59 PM » Author: Lumex120
A few weeks ago, I was on the I-35E parkway stretch, and I noticed that a fair amount of the streetlights had been cut, leaving only the bases and small amounts of the pole. I'm sure some other Minnesota folks (Zarlog and MDCastle) have noticed the same thing, so i'm wondering what prompted MNDOT to get rid of all of these lights. Also note the remaining few lights are still HPS, and date back to the early-1980s(?), so the freeway may finally be getting a much-needed upgrade. 
I noticed it too. Maybe they are going to redo the roads and install some fly swatters jammed with glowing computer chips (yuck) but took the old ones down early.
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 10:17:25 PM » Author: streetlight98
In northern NH along I-93, they removed poles at all the interchanges, going from five poles at the beginning of each ramp to three and from 3 at the bottom of the ramp on the crossroad to just 1. They did it simply as a cost-saving measure. This was several years ago and still no LEDs on NH's freeways. They're currently using 250W HPS M-250R2 FCOs on truss poles. they had used the same fixtures back in the late 80s when they started to install HPS in larger groups (original HPS NH DOT lights appear to have been M-400 drop lens lights in the early 80s and seem to be in very small numbers). Then they moved to drop lens M-250R2s by the 90s and then to M-250A2 drop lens lights in the 90s and 2000s and now M-250R2 FCOs again! I've seen one interchange (just one, oddly enough) that used M-400A2s as well.
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 07:14:18 AM » Author: EpicStreetlights
A few weeks ago, I was on the I-35E parkway stretch, and I noticed that a fair amount of the streetlights had been cut, leaving only the bases and small amounts of the pole. I'm sure some other Minnesota folks (Zarlog and MDCastle) have noticed the same thing, so i'm wondering what prompted MNDOT to get rid of all of these lights. Also note the remaining few lights are still HPS, and date back to the early-1980s(?), so the freeway may finally be getting a much-needed upgrade.  
I noticed it too. Maybe they are going to redo the roads and install some fly swatters jammed with glowing computer chips (yuck) but took the old ones down early.
I think that's the most likely scenario, though usually when MNDOT cuts a streetlight they don't reinstall it for a long time, or they install semi-permanent lighting (the WB approach to the Lowry Hill Tunnel and the I-94/35W interchange are good examples of this).
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #4 on: September 02, 2016, 07:07:54 PM » Author: Lumex120
A few weeks ago, I was on the I-35E parkway stretch, and I noticed that a fair amount of the streetlights had been cut, leaving only the bases and small amounts of the pole. I'm sure some other Minnesota folks (Zarlog and MDCastle) have noticed the same thing, so i'm wondering what prompted MNDOT to get rid of all of these lights. Also note the remaining few lights are still HPS, and date back to the early-1980s(?), so the freeway may finally be getting a much-needed upgrade.  
I noticed it too. Maybe they are going to redo the roads and install some fly swatters jammed with glowing computer chips (yuck) but took the old ones down early.
I think that's the most likely scenario, though usually when MNDOT cuts a streetlight they don't reinstall it for a long time, or they install semi-permanent lighting (the WB approach to the Lowry Hill Tunnel and the I-94/35W interchange are good examples of this).
Another thing I have noticed is that on areas where they are doing road work they are crudely installing some old HPS streetlights (most likely temporary to light the site at night) and they have cable wrapped around the poles and look quite beat up so I think they are saving some older lights for this purpose.
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #5 on: September 05, 2016, 12:08:16 AM » Author: mdcastle
Lighting installations only last 30 years or so in these parts. Most of the 1960s and 1970s vintage freeways already had the entire systems replaced in the 1990s and 2000s so they just replaced the luminaire with LEDs. I-35E in St. Paul was from a bit later, in the 1980s, so it didn't need replacement until now. Last winter I notice quite a few strings of lights out due to bad wiring.

I don't dislike the new LEDs, especially not the Cooper ones, but do wish they'd use bronze colored luminaires on the bronze poles, like on the Wakota Bridge and Stillwater. The silver ones look wrong.

(Incidentally, the Philips ones are no longer being used because they use more energy than the Cooper or American Electric models)
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 09:25:21 AM » Author: EpicStreetlights
Lighting installations only last 30 years or so in these parts. Most of the 1960s and 1970s vintage freeways already had the entire systems replaced in the 1990s and 2000s so they just replaced the luminaire with LEDs. I-35E in St. Paul was from a bit later, in the 1980s, so it didn't need replacement until now. Last winter I notice quite a few strings of lights out due to bad wiring.

I don't dislike the new LEDs, especially not the Cooper ones, but do wish they'd use bronze colored luminaires on the bronze poles, like on the Wakota Bridge and Stillwater. The silver ones look wrong.

(Incidentally, the Philips ones are no longer being used because they use more energy than the Cooper or American Electric models)
The cooper ones are my favorite as well. The current fixtures MNDOT is using seem like they'd work great for smaller residential installations, but don't put out a ton of light on the freeway.

On a side note, I noticed that most of the highmasts along I-494 between US-212 and Portland Ave. have a giant yellow X on them, which makes me wonder if these are going to be removed or upgraded soon.

On another side note, the lighting on the MN-610 extension is being installed, with Cooper LED lighting on standard MN davit poles going all the way up the ramp and well beyond.
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #7 on: September 05, 2016, 11:23:22 AM » Author: mdcastle
The "X" means they've been inspected recently
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #8 on: September 05, 2016, 11:25:00 AM » Author: streetlight98
Whats with all the quoting? ??? Very hard to follow this thread LOL.

Here the state DOT (RIDOT) has lighting poles from the late 50s and 60s still up. They have individual photocells too, not even group-controlled. Most originally had OV-25 flatbottoms and then in the mid-90s RIDOT went all HPS and used drop lens 250W M-250R2s to replace the 400W MVs. They had used M-250R1s and L-150s as spot replacements for failed 400W MVs in the 80s and in the HPS changeout they were kept, as they were already HPS. RIDOT goes several years between group relamps though, so most of those 80s HPS fixtures are long gone, as the endlessly cycling lamps eventually killed the ignitors. Many of the 60s RIDOT lights have wiring issues too but they still keep them for whatever reason.

If your 80s systems have bad wiring there's something wrong though lol. Our 80s systems still look like new 30 years later. Those are group-controlled for the most part, though RIDOT did still use some photocell-controlled lights in the 80s.

A lot of our freeway lights were actually owned by the electric company and leased to the state highway department like wood pole lights are leased to the city/town. Most of those National Grid (the PoCo here) lights were very poorly maintained and have wiring issues left and right. The state wanted to implement a lighting curfew on its freeways (shutting the lights off between 12AM and 5AM) but they couldn't do it with the NGrid lights since NGrid would only offer standard photocells (i.e. dusk-to-dawn operation) and they only offer HPS. NGrid will not use LEDs. Not for freeway lighting and not for any of its wood pole lights either (if cities want to have LEDs, they have to purchase ownership of the existing lights and then hire a private contractor to do an LED changeout. Providence, RI has done this and they're about 50% LED. Other than Providence and the freeway lights, the rest of the state's public lighting is still all HPS and some MV and incandescent).

So anyway, because NGrid provided little options to control the lights (in addition to the fact that most of their lights did not work at all and many poles were missing due to knockdowns that were never replaced) RIDOT opted to cancel their contracts with most of the NGrid lighting and install their own systems, which are group-switched, allowing a lighting curfew to be used. They're also metered, so RIDOT only gets billed for what they use rather than all the lights being unmetered like the NGrid poles. And further, since RIDOT owns these new poles they installed, they can put up their own LEDs. There are currently only a few NGrid-owned lighting systems left on the freeways here. All use 250W HPS drop lens lights that have photocells and run dusk-to-dawn. When RIDOT replaced most of the NGrid lights, they used taller davit poles (instead of the NGrid truss and tapered poles) with 400W FCO lights to replace the 250W HPS drop lens lights on short poles.
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Re: "Disappearing" Streetlights Along I-35E Parkway « Reply #9 on: September 05, 2016, 10:07:57 PM » Author: mdcastle
I noticed the davit poles driving through Rhode Island too, reminded me of home.
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