December 12, 2005

Green lights to get greener on Alberta highways

EDMONTON, ALTA-The Alberta government is embarking on a program to retrofit traffic signals and beacons on provincial highways with more efficient and environmentally-friendly lamps. Starting next spring, Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation will replace incandescent lamps with new light emitting diode (LED) lamps in traffic lights at approximately 80 highway intersections and in 150 continuously flashing beacons. The retrofit program will cost about $1.8 million and will pay for itself in approximately five years. The department currently uses LED traffic signals only in new installations or during major upgrades to existing intersections. Converting all signals and beacons to LED will save the government an estimated $369,000 per year in electricity and maintenance costs. "LED bulbs use 80 to 90% less energy and last up to ten times longer than conventional bulbs," said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Dr Lyle Oberg. "Taxpayers benefit from lower operating and maintenance costs while the environment benefits from reduced emissions related to less energy use," he added.

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