AUSTIN — Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday tapped a Massachusetts-based energy efficiency company to install new high-efficiency streetlights across the city as part of a $160 million contract.
The $160 million contract for Ameresco Inc. is set to be introduced to the City Council Wednesday, according to a statement from the mayor's office.
The city tested out the new high-efficiency streetlights in seven neighborhoods before rolling out 270,000 whiter, crisper Light Emitting Diode lights across the city next year.
The lights will be installed over four years, with the first lights set for neighborhoods with high rates of violent crime "that would most benefit from clearer and more reliable lighting," according to a statement from the mayor's office.
The new lights will also be installed along approximately a dozen main arterial streets across the city during the first year, according to a statement from the mayor's office.
The new streetlight fixtures will consume 50 to 75 percent less electricity than existing lights, officials said. The project also includes a new management system that will give the city a state-of-the-art smart lighting grid that will alert crews when lights are about to burn out.
Rebekah Scheinfeld, the city's transportation commissioner, has said the new lights will last as long as 15 years, nearly three times longer than the old lights, which the city has used for nearly 50 years.
That will decrease calls for service from residents, officials said.