Big Four Bridge Shines a Light on Louisville Waterfront

Source: Philips Lumec Blog

(All photos courtesy of Philips)

At a recent special ceremony on The Big Four Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.. Mayor Greg Fischer flipped the switch to reveal a new LED lighting system from Philips. The new dynamic color-changing lighting system, a shining example of public-private partnership, transforms the popular daytime destination into a lively nighttime art piece and backdrop for waterfront events. The project delivers on Mayor Fischer’s six-year plan to create a clean, green, inclusive environment through the use of innovative, energy-efficient LED technology.  The addition of the lighting further cements the bridge as an iconic symbol of Louisville and a reflection of the vibrant community that surrounds it.

The Big Four Bridge lit up in colorful hues casts a mesmirizing reflection to the river below.

The historic Big Four Bridge was originally built in 1895 by railway companies to transport goods across the Ohio River, and was in use until 1969, when the bridge was essentially decommissioned. Through public-private partnership, the bridge was re-opened in 2013 as a pedestrian and bicycle path, reconnecting Louisville with Jefferson, Ind., and revitalizing the waterfront area.  Since its re-opening, the mile long bridge has seen an estimated 1 million visitors, making it a destination point for locals and travelers alike.

The Big Four Bridge seen from different angles.

Building on the success of the project, Louisville’s Waterfront Development Corporation spearheaded an initiative to extend the bridge’s appeal into the evening hours with color-changing light. The system can display over 16 million colors and an endless array of patterns, creating a unique and inviting atmosphere for waterfront activities, and can enhance local elements such as concerts and fireworks, while also reflecting other special occasions.

Pedestrians walk under the brilliantly illuminated bridge.

“This was a strategic opportunity to leverage LED technology to further enhance the city’s most popular attraction and continue the momentum of moving Louisville forward as an innovative and independent city,” said Mayor Fischer.  “The new lighting will make the bridge safer at night, enhance waterfront events and contribute to the artistic flair and pride of this community.”

The newly lit Big Four Bridge seen from afar.

More than 1,500 Philips fixtures, mounted on both the interior and exterior of the bridge, and the software-based control system were installed and commissioned by Vincent Lighting Systems, the Kentucky-based systems integrator. Now pedestrians in the surrounding parks have a dynamic lightshow to watch from dusk to 12:30 a.m.   The new lighting system is likely to further boost tourism, benefitting the local economy. Louisville joins other innovative cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Corpus Christi and Little Rock, in revitalizing their bridges and lighting them as modern icons.

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