Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) officials are extending the lighting curfew program to stretches of the Glenn Highway between Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, a distance of 34 miles. A lighting curfew turns off street lighting between interchanges during late night and early morning hours. The Glenn Highway lighting curfew will be between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Electricity is a significant part of DOT&PF’s Central Region operating budget, costing $2.2 million annually for approximately 8,500 fixtures. Late night and early morning hours (midnight to 6 a.m.) account for 50% of the department’s electrical budget for lighting, when less than 5 percent of the traffic is on the road. The department is estimating a savings of approximately $190,000 in electrical costs once the lighting curfew is fully implemented. The savings will be used to prioritize winter maintenance tasks, such as snow and ice removal.
DOT&PF has implemented lighting curfews along three sections of highway, including:
Minnesota Drive: International to Old Seward, 5.0 miles (implemented July 2017)
Sterling Highway MP 80-83, 4.0 miles (implemented March 2019)
C Street-Tudor to O’Malley, 3.8 miles (implemented July 2019)
Later this year, the department plans to expand the lighting curfew to Trunk Road from Parks Highway to Seldon Road, a distance of 3.5 miles.
The department is also converting eligible roadways to LED lighting with federal funds as repair cycles occur. Recent LED Lighting Retrofit Projects have generated $70,000 in annual savings. Combined LED retrofits and curfews have the potential to reduce state costs by up to 75% of the existing system costs.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”