Wearing bright vests for their own protection, state road crews are improving the safety of Hawaii drivers traveling the H-1 and H-2 Freeways.
The state's Department Of Transportation has started a project to fix the lighting on the freeways from Kunia to Makakilo and Mililani to Wahiawa.
In 2005, a rash of thefts began with thieves ripping off thousands of feet of copper wiring, knocking out electricity.
It has taken years to fix but the state said the delays are partly by design.
"That type of theft is pretty rampant and our ability to stop copper theft is really limited," said DOT spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.
However, with James Taylor or "Freeway Jimmy," the copper theft ring leader, sentenced to ten years behind bars, authorities say copper thefts declined.
Meisenzahl said extra security measures and precautions are going into effect but the state's hands are tied by a federal law requiring pull boxes to remain accessible.
"We are talking about electricity. There might be situations where we need to turn it off right away, depending what the situation is," Meisenzahl said.
At a cost of nearly $3 million, the state is looking to have the lights back on by this summer.
The DOT is asking residents who spot suspicious activity to call police immediately to prevent drivers from being left in the dark again.
"This is your dollars, this is your registration fees, this is your vehicle weight tax, and this is your gasoline," Meisenzahl added.
The state is not mandated to put lights in this area but Meisenzahl said the DOT chose to do the work with the public's safety as its priority.