LED Lights to be Added on Expressway 83
WESLACO – LED lights are on the way for a major strip of Expressway 83 running through Hidalgo and Cameron counties. One interim city manager said he’s looking forward to the new lights.
The project started last week in the cities of Edinburg and Brownsville. TxDOT will work its way inward to cities in between.
Replacing lights on the expressway to LED bulbs is more complex than it sounds.
“So if you start seeing a lot of problems with the electrical, it’s not just the lights, it’s not just like replacing a light bulb at home, it’s actually an electrical grid,” Octavio Saenz with TxDOT explained.
A failure in the electrical grid can cause outages to as many as 16 light posts.
Donna Interim City Manager Ernesto Silva said his office received calls on the matter. People were worried about the hazards they could face on the road at night.
“We’ve received complaints and concerns over the last probably three years, ever since the lights started to fail on the expressway,” Silva said.
The municipal maintenance agreement required cities to take full responsibility of light repairs on the expressway in their territory.
Saenz said some cities failed to uphold their part of the deal, meaning some strips of the expressway went dark.
“Change of administration, people leave, people come, a lot of it started to for, lack of a better word, to be forgotten,” he said.
Silva said Donna couldn’t fix the light outages in their city because the issue wasn’t just replacing the bulb.
“Later we found out that the actual electrical wiring had failed within the conduit, so they had to come in and redo the electricity as well, the electrical wiring in order to be able to function properly,” he said.
Silva said now that the wiring will be fixed it will be easier for the city to hold up their end of the deal.
About 70 miles of road will see improvements on the expressway. The project will take around eight months to complete.
In Hidalgo County, the project starts at Interstate 69C and Monte Cristo Heights Road to I69C and FM 495.
And in Brownsville the project is between the intersection of I69E and SH 100 to I69E and University Blvd.