Wire theft left lights on Sardou Bridge inoperable.

PHOTO by: Nate Nottage-Tracey, Kansas First News

Westar Energy is rewiring street lights across the Sardou Bridge in Topeka. The project, which is expected to conclude in early June, requires traffic to be restricted to one lane.

The bridge was closed for construction beginning in January until recently. During this time, Westar Energy had cut power to the street lights for the safety of the construction workers. When work was complete and we attempted to turn the lights back on, we discovered that one or more people had stolen wire from the lights. With the design of the lighting on the bridge, a complete rewiring is required in order to get the street lights working again.

“We’ve experienced an increase in all types of wire theft this year, including one that likely resulted in serious injury in Wichita recently,” Bruce Akin, vice president, power delivery said. “These individuals are risking their lives for a few dollars. It’s just not worth it.”

People who observe suspicious activity are asked to please report it to law enforcement. If you are uncertain, you may also contact Westar Energy at 1-800-383-1183 to see if we have employees working in an area.

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