The PDX Roadway Just Got Brighter – And More Energy Efficient

The next time you are driving through PDX, take a quick glance up toward the canopy hanging over the roadways used for arrivals and departures. It’s probably not something you thought about before, but it will most certainly be a brighter experience than your last journey through PDX.

We just wrapped up a project to make the lighting in this area brighter and, more importantly, significantly more energy efficient.

The fact that we replaced old metal halide and fluorescent lighting with LED lights isn’t so unusual. We’ve been working to reduce our energy consumption by 20% since 2011, and modern lighting solutions play a big part in accomplishing that.

The big surprise for us came when we discovered we could remove a significant number of lights in the process and still create a welcoming, bright PDX experience. In fact, we removed 82% of our lights on the PDX roadway – saying goodbye to more than 1,800 light fixtures while improving lighting quality.

We estimate this work will save 573,460 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year in energy consumption. That equates to a reduction of about $40,140 in annual lighting costs.

We removed 82% of our lights on the PDX roadway – saying goodbye to more than 1,800 light fixtures while improving lighting quality.

That added some major safety benefits as well. These light systems sit over busy roadways, as thousands travel through each day to pick up or drop off passengers. Because we now have much fewer lights to switch out, we reduced the operational challenges and safety risks associated with maintaining the fixtures. 

“This was a great team effort between Port staff and Affiliated Engineers and O’Neill Construction Group,” said Alan Dakessian, engineering project manager at the Port of Portland. “Both companies were extremely flexible and adjusted as the project scope evolved. O’Neill Construction did a great job of scheduling and coordinating the work, which required multiple roadway shutdowns. They also maintained a spotless safety record with no major incidents despite all of the risks.”

Related: Read about the role O’Neill Construction Group played in building the new Concourse E at PDX

Thank you to our partners for finding solutions that brighten the experience for travelers and employees at PDX.