State wasting electricity on street lights that won’t turn off

For over two years, the state has been putting up new street lights to beautify the stretch of Ala Moana Boulevard from Waikiki to Fort Street Mall.

But, there’s a problem.

“Why wasting this kine lights on? Nobody paying attention,” Honolulu resident Sun Mattos said.

All 260 lights are supposed to have a sensor that turns them off when the sun is out and on at night. Forty-four of them between Piikoi Street and the Ala Wai Canal Bridge have a defective circuit.

More than 40 street lights have been running 24/7 for the past few weeks. KHON2 pressed the state to find out why it hasn’t been fixed.

“That’s crazy. I can’t believe that. Couldn’t they switch it off or something?” Honolulu resident Holly Elajji said.

The state says it can’t simply flip a switch to turn the lights off and on. They are connected to crosswalk and intersection signals that would also be impacted.

But a fix will come soon. Replacement parts have been ordered and will be installed in about two weeks. Some say that’s not soon enough.

“Oh yes, too long. Too long. They have to do right away. One day electricity bill is how much this is wasting?” Mattos said.

“Yes, definitely government waste,” Elajji said. “What’s the electricity going to cost on that?”

KHON2 asked the state Department of Transportation, what is it costing to run the 44 street lights all day? They told KHON2 its monthly bill for those poles was nearly $3,000 including traffic signals. They said they do not have a cost per pole breakdown.

“That’s totally more. Who is supposed to pay for that one?” Mattos said.

KHON2 will keep asking the state how much it’s costing and will follow up on this issue to make sure the lights get fixed.

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