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Purple streetlights popping up around Topeka, with plans underway to replace them

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 9:42 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - If you have driven around Topeka at night lately and thought you have seen a purple hue to some of the streetlights in the city, you aren’t alone.

Several local residents have taken to social media to discuss the phenomenon, which also has been reported in other locations across the United States.

The matter is being addressed by local officials, and the public is invited to help.

“Over the past few years, Evergy has installed LED streetlights in communities where we maintain streetlights,” said Gina Penzig, a spokeswoman for Evergy. “Some of the lights have a defective component that is allowing too much of the blue-to-purple light spectrum to shine through.”

However, she said, Evergy is developing a plan to replace its defective streetlights.

“Evergy is inspecting our streetlights to identify how many lights are defective and where,” Penzig said. “Inspections in the Topeka area are scheduled to be completed this month.”

Penzig noted that Evergy doesn’t maintain all of the streetlights in Topeka.

Some are maintained by the city.

On Friday morning, city spokeswoman Molly Hadfield said the city doesn’t have any of the purple streetlights.

Hadfield said the city maintains more than 1,600 streetlights, mainly along S.W. 29th from Wanamaker to Urish roads, as well as on Wanamaker from S.W. 29th to S.W. 37th streets.

The city also is responsible for all the lights from S.W. 10th Avenue to S.W. 21st on Washburn Avenue and Lane Street.

Additionally, the city maintains lights on the recently widened stretch of S.W. 6th Avenue and S.W. 10th Avenue west of Gage Boulevard.

Other areas where the city maintains lights include S.W. Topeka Boulevard in the downtown area, as well as streetlights in the North Topeka Arts District.

The city also maintains the lights on the Topeka Boulevard Bridge and on S.W. 1st Street along Crane Street.

Local residents who would like to report defective streetlights may do so at Evergy.com/street-light-outage.

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