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Birmingham looking to install new interstate lighting on I-59/20

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you have to travel through downtown Birmingham on the interstate, you know there is a lighting problem.

The city of Birmingham is expected to launch a pilot program to start bringing the lights back on to parts of I-59/20. The city is looking to spend about $2 million to put in almost 400 LED lights. The city has done this before, but vandals have continued to knock out the lights.

There should be more lights up and running on the interstate at night. Copper thieves have consistently attacked light poles to steal the copper wiring. The city put new lights in the median from Arkadelphia through the I-65 junction to make it more difficult for the crooks.

The proposed lights will be buried deeper and use aluminum to dissuade them.

The city realizes not having lights is a major safety issue. They hope to expand the program if it’s successful, but this will take time and money.

“Certainly at the end of this project, if it’s successful we can’t start striking million dollar checks to do additional lighting projects. This is going to be a process that will probably take, realistically take several years for us to resolve,” said Darrell O’Quinn, Birmingham City Council.

The city council is expected to vote on the money next week. Work should begin soon. It’s expected to start around the Tallapoosa exit and go eastward to the 59/20 split.

Work should be finished by summer 2022.

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