TR011 City Street Light Renovation

Project Details:

Project Start Date: 1/2/2022

Ongoing Program: Y/N

Submitting Department: Public Works

Contact Person: Joe Laurin

Level of Need: Significant

Estimated Project Completion Date: 12/30/2026

Department Priority: 14 of 62

Contact Phone Number: (612) 673-5987

Website: TBD

Project Location:

Address: City Street Light Renovation

City Sector: Citywide

Affected Neighborhoods: Citywide

Affected Wards: All

Various Locations throughout the City.

Project Description:

This capital project would continue a multi-year renovation program for the City’s existing metal pole street lighting facilities. The City of Minneapolis has approximately 7,000 metal street lighting poles (30-40 ft. heights) distributed throughout the City generally located in commercial areas and along some arterial roadways. A significant percentage of the City’s poles are approximately 40 to 60 years old, having been installed between 1954 and 1963. A significant number of these light poles and their anchorage are at, or are reaching, the end of their serviceable life due to the corrosive effects of salt on the lower six feet of the steel pole. A similar number of low level (12-15’ height poles) with decorative fixtures are installed in commercial, residential and entertainment districts throughout Minneapolis and have similar issues with deterioration and required replacement.

Purpose and Justification:

It is imperative that a street light renovation program be maintained. The average cost for replacing a light pole and transformer base, including rebuilding its foundation anchorage is estimated at $5,000. With an estimated 800 units needing to be replace over the next ten years, the cost ($4,000,000 in 2007 dollars) far exceeds the funding available in the annual operating and maintenance budget for street lighting. A material condition audit in 2016 found close to 100 poles deemed hazardous and requiring immediate replacement and hundreds of others rated in poor condition. Phase 2 of the audit was completed in 2017 and found an additional 600 deficient poles requiring replacement. Additionally, around $100,000 is allocated each year for in-place pole painting to preserve the asset and extend its useful life, delaying the need for full replacement.

The funding proposed for 2021 is a continuation of the program that began in 2005. In 2005, $1,000,000 was appropriated for this project and all of the money was spent in that year. This is the start of a long-term renovation program, one that will require a substantial ongoing. It is estimated that it will continually require $300,000 to $700,000 annually to renovate units most in need of immediate attention to prevent them from falling over into the street, sidewalk, or onto an adjacent building. This ongoing replacement cost is assuming a 60-year pole lifespan. Priority will be given in the immediate and near future to addressing the unsafe and poor condition streetlight poles.

In addition to pole maintenance and replacement, a portion of the renovation budget is allocated for LED fixture replacement. LED fixtures promise great energy savings and longer fixture life. A part of the budget is planned to be used to procure and install LED fixtures, introducing a transition away from high pressure sodium (HPS) light fixtures. Funding increases are requested starting in 2021 to expedite the conversion of existing HPS fixtures to LED fixtures. The conversion from HPS to LED should greatly reduce operation and maintenance costs, as LED fixture typically consume 60-70% less energy and last 400-500% longer.

Project Visuals and Map:

Project Cost Breakdown

Department Funding Request


Have Grants for this Project been secured?


Describe status and timing details of secured or applied for grants or other non-City funding sources:

Not Applicable

Describe any collaborative arrangements with outside project partners, including who they are and what their role is with the project:

Public Works coordinates as much as possible with other projects that may provide a source of additional revenue/match dollars and coordinates project timelines to maximize efficiency.


State Law Chapter 462.356 (Subd. 2) requires review of all capital improvements for compliance with the comprehensive municipal plan. Chapter 13, Section 4 of the City Charter requires Location and Design Review for the purpose of approving the sale of bonds for these projects. Transportation: Minneapolis will build, maintain and enhance access to multi-modal transportation options for residents and businesses through a balanced system of transportation modes that supports the City’s land use vision, reduces adverse transportation impacts, decreases the overall dependency on automobiles, and reflects the city’s pivotal role as the center of the regional transportation network. This project is consistent with planning and policy guidelines set forth in the City’s comprehensive plan Minneapolis 2040.

Provide the date that Location and Design Review was conducted for the project, the outcome of that analysis and the date formal action was taken by the Planning Commission:

Location and Design Review for this project took place on May 4, 2009. The project was found consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan. No additional review is required.

Economic Development

Will the project contribute to growth in the city’s tax base?

Maintains existing tax base

Describe the economic development impact of the project:

Not Applicable

Does the project support redevelopment opportunity that without the project would be infeasible?

Not Applicable


Is the proposed project on an existing or planned transitway, transit route, or high-volume pedestrian corridor? If yes, provide details on how the project will improve the transit and/or pedestrian experience.

Not Applicable

Does the proposed project anticipate multi-modal enhancements (sidewalks, bicycle or transit facilities)? Provide details.

Not Applicable

Is the right-of-way constrained and do you anticipate that modes of travel will be competing for space? Provide details, is there potential for innovative design options? Provide details

Not Applicable

Operating Impacts

Operations & Capital Asset Maintenance:

Is this request for new or existing infrastructure? Existing

What is the expected useful life of the project/Improvement? 30 Years

Year that Operating Incr/(Decr) will take effect? Year 1

What is the estimated annual operating cost increase or (decrease) for this project? ($130,000)

Any Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations? No

Prior Year Remaining Bond Authorizations: Not Appicable

Describe how operating cost increases or decreases were determined and include details such as personnel costs, materials, contracts, energy savings, etc:

Approximately 100LED fixtures can be converted per year in the 2018 budget. These should save approximately $50 per year energy savings and $50 per year in amortized maintenance savings for a total of $100 per fixture or $10,000 per year. Pole painting about 150 poles per year should add 10 years of life per pole at $30 per year amortized replacement cost for a total of $45,000. Pole replacements should save $5000 per year in emergency overtime costs. Total savings of $60,000 per year.

If new infrastructure, discuss how the department/agency will pay for the increased annual operating costs:

Not Applicable

For new infrastructure, describe the estimated timing and dollar amount of future capital investment required to realize the full expected useful life of the project:

Not Applicable

Project Coordination

Describe completion status for ongoing projects and how and when the department/agency plans to use the prior year remaining bond authorizations:

Not Applicable

If this is a new project, describe the major project phases and timing anticipated for completing the project:

Not Applicable

Scalability/Funding Allocation Flexibility – discuss any flexibility to increase or decrease funding among the years in the five-year plan and the most that could be spent in a given year:

Pole replacement and LED installs are very flexible and can easily be increased for additional funds.

Minneapolis Goals and Strategic Direction

Minneapolis is a growing and vibrant world-class city with a flourishing economy and a pristine environment, where all people are safe, healthy and have equitable opportunities for success and happiness.Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals. Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Below is a description of how this project meets each of the City's Goals.

Public Safety

Collaborative and community-inclusive strategies to ensure safety for all members of our community:

Increase accessibility of public infrastructure and public amenities.

Use design principles that ensure a safe and welcoming environment when designing all projects that impact the public realm.

Prioritize safety investments in line with the Complete Streets Policy.

Improve safety for pedestrians, and prioritize pedestrians over other road users, especially at street intersections; focus on signals, crosswalks, lighting, signage, visibility and lowering vehicular speeds through street design and other measures.

Public Health

The City has declared racism a public health emergency, noting that “racism in all its forms causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life”. Public Works recognizes the impact of racism in transportation systems and this program seeks to promote transportation equity and justice in accordance with the goals of the Strategic & Racial Equity Action Plan 2019-2022 by providing equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.

Environmental Justice:

The City prioritizes sustainable practices and renewable resources to equitably address climate change while restoring and protecting our soil, water and air.

Reduce the energy, carbon, and health impacts of transportation through reduced single-occupancy vehicle trips and phasing out of fossil fuel vehicles.

Plan, design, build, maintain, and operate the city’s transportation system in a way that prioritizes pedestrians first, followed by bicycling and transit use, and lastly motor vehicle use. (Complete Streets Policy. Adopted May 2016.)

Improve the pedestrian environment in order to encourage walking and the use of mobility aids as a mode of transportation.

Improve and expand bicycle facilities in order to encourage bicycling as a mode of transportation.

Improve access to goods and services via walking, biking and transit.

Support development and public realm improvements near existing and planned METRO stations that result in walkable districts for living, working, shopping, and recreating.

Proactively improve the public realm to support a pedestrian friendly, high-quality and distinctive built environment.

Improve the tree canopy and urban forest.

Improve air quality by reducing emissions of pollutants that harm human health and the environment.

Minneapolis has also declared a climate emergency that demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse and address the consequences and causes of climate change. Through the Transportation Action Plan, Public Works has stated its intention to drastically reduce the transportation sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and this program/project aims to develop networks that will bring a climate-forward transportation system for the people of Minneapolis.

Built Environment & Transportation:

The City prioritizes high quality neighborhoods, streets, infrastructure and equitable access to multimodal transportation in all parts of the City through thoughtful planning and design.

The City of Minneapolis will promote design for the built environment that is dynamic and durable, reflects the diversity of Minneapolis residents, and contributes to a sense of place and community identity. The City will also proactively improve the public realm, including streets, sidewalks, parks and open spaces between buildings, to ensure that public spaces and private development are thoughtfully connected.

Achieving this goal also requires changes to the transportation system that make it easier to walk, bike or use transit to access daily needs. The City will proactively improve the pedestrian environment and continue to build and maintain a network of bikeways, while working with Metro Transit to increase the frequency, speed and reliability of the public transit system.

Additional Information

Add any additional information you feel is important for the CLIC committee, Mayor, City Council members or the general public to know about this potential project and why it should be approved:

Money spent now on the replacement and/or painting of light poles and bases will reduce the cost for maintenance of a system that is beyond its service life.

Pedestrian, bicyclists, and motorists will benefit from this project. The cost premium for LED light fixtures compared to high pressure sodium lights fixtures has virtually been eliminated, as the technology and warranties appear much more reliable. The light fixture conversion would have great long-term benefits for the City.