In 2002, right after 9/11, eight-year-old Veronica Granite from New Jersey began a petition drive to illuminate her hometown bridge with red, white and blue lights. She had recently seen tricolor lighting atop the Empire State Building during a visit to Liberty State Park and thought the Bayonne Bridge should be similarly decorated in patriotic lights.
Bayonne Bridge Lit with Patriotic LED Lights custom designed by LEDtronics, Inc.
Her lobbying efforts inspired the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which maintains the Bayonne Bridge—the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world.
After seven years, the historic span that connects Bayonne, New Jersey, with Staten Island, New York, wore a necklace of red, white and blue LED lights custom designed by LEDtronics, Inc. of Torrance, California.
Spanning the Kill Van Kull tidal strait and first opened in1931, the Bayonne Bridge was the longest in the world until 1978. Today it carries about 20,000 vehicles per day over its four lanes.
“When we initially showed the bridge Maintenance Group the LEDtronics 180-degree fixture that is used on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles Harbor, they liked the concept but needed the light to be 360 degrees and in red, white and blue,” says Jeffrey Mizel of RF Industries East, the representatives involved with the project.
“As they also wanted to use the existing fixtures, we were provided with samples from the bridge, and LEDtronics engineers set about designing a BSD-1928-OPB-004—a retrofit, mogul-base, 360-degree design,” adds Jeffrey.
It was a perfect solution. In 2009 the project was completed, and the 1,675 feet of the main arch span were illuminated with patriotic LED lighting using about 14 each of BSD-1928-OER-004 (red), BSD-1928-TPW-004 (white) and BSD-1928-OPB-004 (blue).
The little girl, now a teenager, was inspired with what she saw.
Other than the Bayonne and the Vincent Thomas bridges, the LEDtronics BSD-1928-001 series of lights are also installed on the South Capitol Street Bridge in Washington, D.C.
There still remain two other bridges to be retrofitted, as soon as a method for using 480 volts to power the LEDs is accommodated.
The Bayonne Bridge was dramatically blown up in the Steven Spielberg-directed 2005 movie War of the Worlds, starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.
The products used: