TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Shortly after Noon on Wednesday a city of Tulsa employee and Mayor Dewey Bartlett symbolically flipped the switch, turning the highway lights on across the city of Tulsa.
After months of working with budget cuts the city of Tulsa began the process Wednesday morning of turning its highway lights back on.
In November 2009, Mayor Kathy Taylor ordered the highway light turned off to reduce expenses. That move saved the city of Tulsa about $45,000 a month.
Since that time at least one person has died in a traffic accident. Tulsa Police say a man was hit by a vehicle while pushing his car on U.S. Highway 75. Police think lighting could have helped prevented that accident.
However, the city of Tulsa says turning off the lights did not lead to a spike in traffic accidents in the dark, in part because the city didn't turn off lights at interchanges.
"We left most of those on at interchanges and junctions, because that's where all our traffic movement is all, those were left on during this course when we've shut all the lights off," said Mark Brown with the city of Tulsa.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett will join personnel from the City's Public Works Department's Traffic Engineering section at the Gilcrease Expressway between the Tisdale Expressway and North Lewis at Noon for a brief ceremony marking the re-energizing of the city's expressway lights.