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New Mexico city changing its Route 66 streetlights to LED

GALLUP, N.M. — A western New Mexico city is upgrading its streetlights to LED lights, including those on the historic Route 66 highway.

The city of Gallup, New Mexico is planning on changing all of the streetlights owned by the city from high-pressure sodium bulbs to LED lights, the Gallup Independent reports.

City officials say the new lights will save Gallup around $10 million over 20 years and reduce energy use by 65 percent.

“There would be four to five changes of the high-pressured sodium for every one LED streetlight,” said John McAllister, who is a project engineer for Engie Services U.S. “With the cost per trucks at about $90 to $100 per dispatch. … We have estimated and guaranteed about $160,000 in energy savings over the course of a year, and about $130,000 in maintenance.”

The project would be replacing 4,000 street and area lights within the city.

The new LED lights that are equivalent run at about 150 watts, which is an energy savings of over 60 percent, according to McAllister. The lights also — when ran at the same time frame — last for 100,000 hours, which is about 23 years.

The old lights last about 20,000 hours, which is about 4.6 years when they burn from dusk until dawn.

Currently, portions of Route 66 in the city already are lit with a mixture of old streetlights and LED lights.

The move follows similar changes along Route 66 to make this historic road more energy efficient. In recent years, the Mother Road has seen a growing number of electric car charging stations along the 2,500-mile (4023-kilometer) path, and some states even are pushing for solar panels and electric buses.

In Illinois, where Route 66 begins, the state has installed a network of electric vehicle charging stations from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.

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Information from: Gallup Independent, http://www.gallupindependent.com

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