Detroit’s Public Lighting Authority (PLA) has approval to go ahead with a program to upgrade street lighting in two parts of a system that has deteriorated over many years and the restoration of which was thrown in doubt by the city’s move into bankruptcy proceedings. A U.S. Bankruptcy judge ruled on Dec. 6 that the Public Lighting Authority’s access to funds won’t be affected by the city’s bankruptcy filing.

The PLA sold $60 million in bonds last Friday to fund the first phases of its plan to restore street lighting and plans a second round that, depending on how the bonds are rated, would raise an additional $150 million, according to the Michigan Chronicle.

As much as half of the city’s 88,000 streetlights don’t work. The project to repair the system over three years still has details to be worked out, such as what kind of lighting technology will be deployed – high-pressure sodium because of its lower up-front costs or LED lighting to keep long-term costs of operation and maintenance down, according to Crain’s Detroit Business:

On Nov. 20, the five-member lighting authority board passed a resolution declaring its intent to use LED technology for the lighting plan approved by the city in March.

The resolution also said the board is investigating "all available technologies that will result in the lowest operational cost and the highest possible illumination for the city of Detroit." ... (Crain’s Detroit Business)