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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2019
Press Release: 19-0017
Contact: Shannon McCarthy, (907)269-0448, Shannon.mccarthy@alaska.gov

Minnesota Drive Lighting Curfew Saves State Dollars
Department concludes successful pilot program; expands lighting curfew to other highways

(Anchorage, Alaska) –Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) officials are reporting savings on the Minnesota Drive Lighting Curfew pilot program, launched in July 2017.

Electricity is a significant part of DOT&PF’s Central Region operating budget, costing $2.2 million annually for approximately 8,500 fixtures. Late night and early morning hours account for 50 percent of the department’s electrical budget for lighting, but less than 5 percent of the traffic is on the road. After a year of monitoring, the department has documented approximately $5,200 in savings, despite a significant rise in electrical costs. The savings can be applied to other regional maintenance needs.

Because of the continued need to save operating costs, the department is expanding the lighting curfew to additional sections of state roads and highways with an additional estimated savings of $190,000. Sections of roadway that will be included in the next year include:

  • Sterling Highway MP 80-83, 4.0 miles (implemented March 2019)
  • Glenn Highway-Airport Heights to Parks Highway, 34 miles
  • Minnesota Drive-International Airport to Tudor, 0.6 miles
  • C Street-Tudor to O’Malley, 3.8 miles
  • Trunk Road-Parks Highway to Seldon Road, 3.5 miles

The lighting curfew was implemented on the Sterling Highway mile 80-83 in March 2019. Sterling Highway mile 80-83 runs through the Sterling urban area. Plans to extend the curfew to additional highway sections will be developed later this year.

The department is also converting eligible roadways to LED lighting with federal funds as repair cycles occur. Future LED Lighting Retrofit Projects along the Glenn Highway from the Seward Meridian Highway to Lucas Road is estimated to generate another $33,000 in annual savings. Combined LED retrofits and curfews have the potential to reduce state costs by up to 75 percent of the existing system costs.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 731 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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