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Holland tunnel set to undergo LED lighting project

Posted on January 25, 2013 Category: Energy-Efficiency Articles

Officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have approved the the installation of LED lighting in the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City, New Jersey, according to NJ.com. The new LED lights are projected to save the agency more than $250,000 each year while also making the interior of the tunnel brighter and safer for drivers. 

"Using LED lights in a tunnel is still pretty rare," Jason Tuenge, an expert on LED lighting at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Oregon told The Record. "It's still a newer technology, so the price started high, preventing adoption, but the price has been coming down over time. [Drivers] might not notice anything...Most people don't notice any change, and among those who do notice, most are either neutral or like the change."

Over the next several months, workers will begin the process of replacing the tunnel's 3,336 lamps, all of which currently use fluorescent bulb types. The project is expected to cost the Port Authority about $546,000, but the energy savings provided by the more energy efficient LED lights will recoup that cost in approximately two years. 

The LED lights project in the Holland Tunnel is part of a wider ongoing effort by the Port Authority to operate in a more environmentally sustainable fashion and cut down its carbon footprint. According to the news source, this series of projects includes the $60 million Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resource Program, which protects more than 340 acres of open-space habitat and wetlands on either side of the Hudson River. Additionally, officials are currently determining the viability of installing a green roof on top of the Holland Tunnel's administration building. The installation of so many LED lights is a positive step in the right environmental direction.