‘It’s actually a flaw’ - DOT continues to replace purple lights on I-380

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 8:28 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - If you’ve driven down Interstate 380 recently, you may notice some of the streetlights are purple. The Iowa Department of Transportation says they’re seeing an uptick in calls about these purple lights, but it’s not something they’re changing.

The DOT says those purple lights are actually deteriorated LED lights.

Mohamed Mohamed, Assistant Director for the DOT’s Maintenance Bureau, said the LED lights initially are that blue-ish purple color before a paint gets put over them to give the white light that we’re used to.

Mohamed said over the five years since the lights have been installed, the paint has flaked away, causing the purple lights.

He said the company that distributes the lights is replacing them under the warranty, so there is no cost for the replacement.

“The biggest thing is some people had the misconception that you know the DOT is changing the light colors, and you know that we’re actually in a transition phase. We are not. We’re actually, it’s actually a flaw. It’s not the way that it’s supposed to be,” he said.

Mohamed said the DOT replaced around 400 of the 800 lights that were purchased and turned purple. He said they will continue to replace the lights as needed.