Tulsa Has Some Bright Ideas For Stimulus Money

Monday, November 22nd 2010, 7:19 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On Six

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Stimulus money is leading to some bright ideas in Tulsa that will save money and improve safety.

04/27/10 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Using Stimulus Dollars To Go Green

Downtown will get all new traffic and crosswalk signals that are brighter. That work starts soon, but at OSU Medical Center the city spent grant money for a new boiler and new surgical lights, both of which are much more efficient than what they replaced.

Mayor Bartlett had to suit up in surgical clothes to see where the City of Tulsa is cutting costs.

The operating room at OSU Medical Center has the newest and most efficient LED lights. They use less electricity and the bulbs last 15 years.

"These LED lights save about 38 percent of the energy over the old ones, they focus better, better light for surgery, the latest on the market," said OSU Medical Center OSU Jan Slater.

The old lights, like much of the infrastructure at the hospital, was ancient. The boiler was a 1944 model.

The City of Tulsa got a stimulus grant to replace all of the outdated equipment, saving OSU and the city $210,000 a year.

"What we replaced was an old style method of heating water. We now have in this facility a very state of the art method that takes up a lot less space, saves energy and saves us a whole lot of money," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

Outside OSU, the next project will be downtown's traffic signals and pedestrian crossing lights.

Each traffic signal has a dozen 100 watt bulbs. The city plans to replace all 1200 traffic signals with new LED models.

The city got a $740,000 dollar grant for the work and will save that much again over 10 years.

"The big thing is that it will save the city, the low estimate was $70 thousand dollars a year, I think it will be more, on the energy use to run those signals each year," said Brett Fidler, City Director of Sustainability.

The updated signals downtown will include new audible pedestrian signals to help people get across intersections safely.

The city plans to start installing the signals next month. The city has the parts on order to replace the traffic signals.

Overall the city was awarded $3.8 million dollars, still more than a million dollars left to spend and they're working on ideas for that money.

03/03/10 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Plans $3.8 Million In Energy Initiatives