The problem: The city of Sacramento's Department of Transportation promises to repair streetlights extinguished by copper thieves within 90 days and encourages residents to promptly report nonfunctioning lights.
A Bee reader noticed a few days ago that the streetlights on the H Street Bridge over the American River were not working. He said the control box at the west end appeared to have been vandalized, and cut wires were hanging out of open wiring boxes at the base of each light pole.
The solution: Linda Tucker, spokeswoman for the Transportation Department, said the damage had been reported and repairs are slated for January. She said the covers for the openings that allow access to the wiring were stolen. Crews immediately took measures to shut off power and secure wires so they pose no threat to the public.
The department reported earlier this month that it has significantly reduced the backlog of streetlight repairs since the City Council in April approved $2 million in funding to hire three additional electrical contractors.
Copper wire thefts had left 150 neighborhoods in the dark with waiting lists for repairs extending up to 12 months. Streetlights now have been repaired in all 150 neighborhoods, except for those on nonresidential or vacant property, officials said.
Since 2010, copper thieves have damaged an estimated 18,800 streetlights in Sacramento. As of early December, the city had spent more than $1.45 million on repairs.
In April, the city put online an interactive map showing areas where nonfunctioning streetlights have been reported and indicating the month in which repairs are expected to be made. A second map shows sites that have been repaired.
To view the maps, see the Department of Transportation website at http://www.cityofsacramento.org/transportation.
Click on "Street Services" on the left side of the page, and on "Street Lighting" in the pop-up menu.
To report streetlight problems, call 311, or email email@example.com
Residents with Android or iPhones also can download the 311 app from the city's home page at cityofsacramento.org
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Cathy Locke
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.