Press Releases

POWER helps PLA relight the streets of Detroit

May 2017

HAILEY, Idaho (May 16, 2017) — POWER Engineers Incorporated (POWER) worked with the Public Lighting Authority (PLA) of Detroit to help support an effort to relight the city’s streets. The PLA developed a plan to revamp an aging infrastructure at a time when roughly 40 percent of the city’s streetlights did not work– whether because of theft, need for repairs, or outdated technology.

The relighting project started with $185 million in bond funding for the PLA and was a collaboration between the city and the state. During the initial construction phase of installing LED lights, POWER got involved and proposed Cityworks, the leading GIS-centric asset management system (AMS), to meet their needs as they moved from inspection and construction to maintenance. The PLA overcame hurdles such as rapidly evolving business processes and the sheer number of contractors that the PLA staff coordinated with on a daily basis – up to 400 contractors during the construction phase. Cityworks AMS fit both of these areas perfectly.

As contractors entered inspection data into the system, the GIS-centric Cityworks AMS factored in the location and condition of each light in order to recommend its replacement type during design and construction. The POWER geospatial and asset management team also actively worked with the PLA to determine key business processes that needed tracking – the PLA is able to report on performance metrics internally for business practices and to provide accurate and real-time feedback to the citizens it serves. Using Cityworks, the PLA increased its efficiencies by providing more transparencies between operating areas. POWER helped configure the Cityworks application as the PLA moved from mainly construction to full-time maintenance of the new streetlight infrastructure. We continue to support the users with more training, executive dashboards for reporting and another Cityworks product, Storeroom, for maintaining inventory.

As promised to Detroit’s residents, PLA CEO Nicolette Carlone delivered the completion of 65,000 new LED energy-efficient streetlights at the end of 2016. And as the lights returned, neighborhood residents felt the positive glow of safety, increased business and a brightened view of the future.

“For decades, Detroiters battled with a broken streetlight system that often left entire neighborhoods in darkness,” Carlone said. “Now, not only are Detroit’s streets lit to the national standard, but our residents can expect that if a light goes out, it will be replaced within five days. This project has made Detroit a leader in environmentally friendly streetlight technology.”

Senior Consultant Paul Downing, the POWER project manager, says working with the PLA has shown “the level of enthusiasm the Detroit-area folks have for their city and the belief everyone in Detroit has about paying it forward for the community and tomorrow’s generation.”  

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Since 1996, Cityworks® has been helping organizations maintain smart, safe, and resilient communities by streamlining the care of public infrastructure, permitting, and property. Built exclusively on Esri® ArcGIS® technology, Cityworks’ web GIS-centric system combines the authoritative asset inventory in a geodatabase with business process applications for managing workflow, scheduling resources, and prioritizing activities. Time-tested and proven, Cityworks is Empowering GIS® at more than 700 organizations around the world, saving time and money while improving operational efficiencies.