North Carolina's highways will become a little brighter for nighttime motorists through a deal in which anticipated energy savings by using LED lighting helps pay for the project.

Members of the Council of State — comprised of the governor, lieutenant governor and other statewide elected officials — signed off Tuesday on the performance contract for the Department of Transportation.

The $32.3 million agreement with Trane US requires borrowed money to construct and install the lighting statewide over 16 months. Monetary savings through more energy efficient fixtures repay the debt over 15 years.

Other similar performance contracts entered by North Carolina state agencies have resulted in savings that met or exceeded the projects' costs.

The lighting upgrade is expected to employ 120 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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