278 of Omaha's "string of pearls" to be replaced in April

Feb 8, 2012

278 broken light fixtures that are part of Omaha’s so-called “string of pearls” will be replaced in April.

The string of pearls are 700 lights that line a three-quarter mile stretch of Abbott Drive, from downtown Omaha to Eppley Airfield. A hailstorm last August shattered 278 of those lights. City engineer Todd Pfitzer says original estimates put the replacement cost at $500,000. But Pfitzer says those lights will be replaced with LED ones, which will save the city $120,000 to $150,000 in energy costs over the next five years.

The 300 replacement lamps cost $200,000 and will be installed in April. Eventually, all of the string of pearls will be replaced with LED lights.

Right now the city doesn’t have an estimate of the cost to replace all 700 lights.