City of Tulsa purchases surge protector for downtown lighting systems after 2NEWS investigation

It's one of the newest features in downtown Tulsa, the new and improved Bartlett Fountain.

"It looks nice. We've already got a bunch of compliments," said Terry Ball, Field Engineer Manager for the City of Tulsa.

Keeping the fountain flowing depends on all the stuff underground that you don't see, including a surge protector.

A $5,000 expense that engineer Terry Ball says wasn't initially part of the project.

"After we had the lights burn out on the Boulder Bridge our design department went back and looked at any other departments we might have issues (with)," said Ball.

In February, the 2NEWS Investigators revealed the LED lights on the west side of the new Boulder Bridge had stopped working. Lightning was blamed for the outage.

Our investigation found the city didn't buy a surge protector for the lights.

Taxpayers we talked to aren't too happy about that.

"Any competent contractor would put a surge protector on a project to save the taxpayers extra money," said Todd Tucker, a taxpayer.    

"They should've done it right the first time, put surge protectors on there," said Joe Remondini, a taxpayer.

"I'm not sure anybody's at fault," said Ball "It would've been one of those, that if the person who designed the lighting system probably would've had it in their design. it probably would've been good to have had in it." 

Now, Ball says city crews are making sure it doesn't happen again.

The city is using money leftover from the Boulder Bridge project to buy a $13,500 surge protector.

Once that's installed, they will begin to look at the cost for repairing the lights.

As for future projects, surge protection is now a requirement for anything that has controls or lighting involved so no project is left in the dark.

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