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Project Profile: Roadway LED Light Replacement, Oregon

worker on project

Construction worker completing work on an LED light fixture.
Source: Credit: Ameresco

Project Name Oregon Roadway LED Light Replacement Project
Location Region 1, Oregon
Project Sponsor / Borrower Oregon Department of Transportation
Program Areas Alternative Project DeliveryProject Finance
Value Capture Techniques N/A
Mode Other: Roadway LED Light Replacement

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is replacing over 8,000 roadway high-pressure sodium lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lights on Region 1 highways. This includes the Portland metro and Hood River County areas, and various cities including Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, and Washington.

The project aims to reduce electricity and maintenance costs, improve light quality, enhance safety, and help meet the State's carbon-reduction goals.

To minimize the impact on traffic, ODOT will perform most of the work at night. Most lane closures will be short, but longer lane closures or full closures will be required to replace the lights and control systems in tunnels. During the project, ODOT will recycle lighting and removed materials, while matching or maintaining existing fixtures. Each fixture is expected to take about 20 minutes to replace, and in most cases, crews will turn off several lights in a row and move a lift truck from one light pole to the next as fixtures are replaced.

To avoid nighttime vision issues with bright white lights, ODOT chose to use 3,000 K fixtures on exterior roadways. This burn temperature has a warmer look that is considered “dark-sky friendly.” The new LED lights come as one electrical unit and last longer than high-pressure sodium lights, so they will help reduce overall maintenance costs.

Cost The not-to-exceed amount for the contract with Ameresco is $18.6M, including contingency.
Funding Sources
  • Ameresco
Project Delivery / Contract Method Energy savings performance – The project is being funded via future energy cost savings from the estimated lighting energy reduction costs over the lifecycle of the LED fixtures (15–20 years).
Private Partner Ameresco
Project Advisors / Consultants Oregon Department of Transportation
Lenders N/A
Duration / Status

LED replacement began in May 2020 and is scheduled to continue through summer 2021.

Financial Status/Financial Performance

The project is funded through a contract with Ameresco, which allows ODOT to pay for the replacement through future energy savings costs. This means ODOT can pay for the project without taking money from other projects and priorities.

  • Use Project Bundling Contract to replace 8,000 roadway high-pressure sodium lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lights on Region 1 highways
  • Using LED lighting reduces carbon emissions, energy costs, and maintenance and operation costs.
  • Savings for using LED lights is an estimated $700,000 to $800,000 per year.
  • Less traffic-flow disruption and increased safety for maintenance crews as LED lights require maintenance and replacement less often.
  • Most of the project work will occur at night, allowing work crews to replace the LED lights during lower traffic periods, thus reducing potential conflicts between travelers and workers and leading to fewer significant traffic impacts.
  • LED lights require less power to operate and will reduce carbon emissions of 3,500 tons per year in Region 1.
  • LED lights will reduce upward light pollution, resulting in a better view of the night sky


Related Links / Articles
Contact Name Hope Estes
Title Community Affairs Coordinator
Phone # (503) 731-4812
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