Purple streetlights on I-380 in Cedar Rapids generate calls to DOT

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Department of Transportation says they’re seeing an uptick in calls about the color of the streetlights on Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids.  The DOT says the lights are unintentionally purple — the result of the deterioration of the LED lights.

The Assistant Director for the DOT’s Maintenance Bureau Mohamed Mohamed says the LED lights initially are blue-ish purple in color before a paint gets put over them to give the white light look.

He tells KCRG T-V that in the five years since the lights have been installed, the paint has flaked away, causing the lights to shine purple. “The biggest thing is some people had the misconception that you know the D-O-T is changing the light colors, and you know that we’re actually in a transition phase. We are not,” he says. “it’s actually a flaw. It’s not the way that it’s supposed to be.”

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

Around half the 800 lights that turned purple have been replaced and they will continue to replace the lights as needed.