MDOT, DTE partner to improve Detroit freeway lighting

- Public lighting in Detroit has been an issue for a long time, but a partnership between MDOT and DTE plans to make the city's highways brighter and safer.

"You could drive the Lodge ... or even I-94 and it was long stretches where there was no lights. It's not safe but at that point, we couldn't get out of that until one of our guys came along with this innovative solution," MDOT Director Kirk Steudle said.

It's a public/private partnership with MDOT and DTE to literally light up freeways.

The project costs about $150 million.

DTE presented a check on Monday to MDOT for $1 million -- a rebate check to help  offset the cost of the department's investment in energy efficiency improvements.

Three years ago, only 70 percent of the freeway's lighting system worked.

It was old and in desperate need of an upgrade but the lack of funding was a major road block.

"To get from 70 percent to over 90 percent, we knew there was no way that we were going to get there unless we did this other type of contracting,"

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said in the long run, it'll be a much more efficient system.

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