Illinois lights some highways on sunny days

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by Chris Nagus

KMOV.com

Posted on March 31, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 1 at 1:20 PM

A News 4 viewer alerted us to something interesting along Illinois highways. In some places the lights burn 24 hours a day.

On March 17th News 4 found nearly 30 streetlights burning at the Washington Park exit along Interstate 64. There were nearly 70 more lights burning near the racetrack off Illinois 111 and 55/70.

"It's daylight, we don't need no lights in daylight," said Tiffany Edwards. Edwards works at the BP station in Washington Park.

News 4 documented the lights burning on two sunny afternoons in March.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation this is not an oversight. Josh Kauffman says the lights are left on to prevent copper theft. Some lights in the metro east have already been vandalized, and I-DOT says leaving them on during the day acts as a deterrent to thieves. The DOT says they aren't leaving the lights on to injure anyone, but stealing copper from lights when they are on can result in an electric shock.

On Monday News 4 requested copies of the electric bills, but those numbers were not available by our deadline. News 4 has submitted a sunshine request with the state for copies of those electric bills.

If you have seen something that has you asking "Is this why we're broke?" email us at broke@kmov.com

 

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