As the hours of daylight have been dwindling, so have many of the city's working street lights. City Engineer Michael Ludi is on task, though, and OG&E crews should be addressing the issue soon.
As the hours of daylight have been dwindling, so have many of the city's working street lights.
City Engineer Michael Ludi is on task, though, and OG&E crews should be addressing the issue soon.
He said city workers recently drove through the entire city and noted every light that was working versus non-working.
“What we discovered during this process was that we had a total of 206 non-working lights, which is roughly 10.50 percent of our total street lights,” he said.
Among recent outages are areas where several — even a dozen or more — street lights in a row have darkened neighborhoods or commercial areas. For instance this week, along Kickapoo, beginning at Wallace heading south for many blocks, street lights were out. Another lengthy string of outages was on the service road just south of Shawnee Mall, including lights around the businesses nearest the northeast corner of Shawnee Mall Drive and Kickapoo, as well as those over Interstate 40 at Kickapoo. Many of those lights were repaired as of Friday — but not all.
Though it's too early to tell what has caused the issues, the problem has been reported.
Ludi said the outages the city discovered were submitted to OG&E and to its sub-contractor.
“OG&E currently doesn’t monitor the light outages, so they rely on the citizens and the City of Shawnee staff to report the outages to them,” he said.
Residents can call OG&E directly to report any non-working street light they notice.
When a report is made, OG&E will require the street light's location (or intersection it is nearest to) and the caller's contact info, in case more information is needed later. Providing an accurate and detailed information when reporting a street light outage will help expedite the repair, the site reads.
“If the citizens feel more comfortable calling us to turn it in, we are more than happy to provide this service to them,” Ludi said. “As City of Shawnee staff we certainly appreciate all citizens calls in regards to these matters so that we can get them addressed.”
According to the OG&E website, at oge.com, after a street light outage, it generally will be repaired within 10 days. If not, OG&E customer service should be able to offer an update on the work order's status.
There are various reasons repairs might take longer.
Ludi said the time frame could be affected if underground wiring is faulty or lights need to be replaced.
The website reports outages can be due to a bulb, ballast, photocell, a blown fuse, or a fixture that has failed, or the outage may be due to something more complicated, such as a malfunctioned transformer or damaged wires that feed power to the lights.
OG&E Senior Communications Specialist Gayle Maxwell added the availability of specific inventory for needed parts also figures into the equation.
High-pressure sodium lights are no longer manufactured, Maxwell said, and OG&E is in the process of converting all its lights to LED, so it will likely take some extra time.
“We'll have contractors looking into it this week,” Maxwell said.
The new LED lights are connected to a web- and GPS-based management system through OG&E's existing Smart Grid, she said, which provides the potential for automated maintenance reports and remote dimming capabilities.
“Once converted, OG&E will know before the customer does when a light has failed,” Maxwell said. “The full conversion in our service area is expected to take up to five years.”
Street light outages can be reported directly to OG&E on its website, at oge.com, or by calling (800) 522-6870 or (405) 272-9741.
To report the outage to the City of Shawnee, call the engineering department at (405) 878-1760.