AGING street light columns across Hartlepool are set to replaced in a programme of works costing more than £1m.
Almost 3,000 lamp-posts over 30 years old will be replaced using £1.2m Hartlepool Borough Council has saved by installing new LED lamps.
The replacement of every lamp in town with the new LEDs had been expected to cost £5m.
But a report due before a council committee on Monday shows the work will only cost £3.8m.
The LED scheme started in July and is expected to be completed by next spring.
The new lights have proved controversial among some residents who have complained about dark areas in between columns.
The second phase of the project will see the replacement of all columns over 30 years old using the project team for LEDs.
A report by Alastair Smith, the council’s assistant director of neighbourhoods, stated: “A significant investment is required to address the aging profile and deteriorating condition of street lighting columns in Hartlepool.
“The proposal is to replace all columns over 30 years using the projected underspend of £1.2m on the LED replacement programme.
“The proposed scheme to replace all columns over 30 years will provide a significant investment.”
The report said the plan is much cheaper than the cost of phasing the replacement work over 10 years at £2m.
It added Hartlepool has 280 columns that are over 40 years old when the risk of potential collapses becomes greater.
Columns over 25 years old will then become a priority for review and any replacements will be funded out of £40,000 from the Local Transport Plan and £20k from the revenue budget.
Any money left over will be used to establish a “sinking fund” to support columns over 25 years old which may need replacing over the next 10-20 years.
Mr Smith added: “This should ensure adequate funding is in place to cover replacement costs in the future.”
The issue will go before members of the council’s Neighbourhood Services meeting which takes place in the Civic Centre on Monday.
The meeting starts at 9.30am and is open to the public.