Quincy Bayview Bridge Gets Dynamic and Colorful LED Lighting

Built in 1986, the Quincy Bayview Bridge is an early cable-stay bridge constructed with pylons and a reinforced concrete super structure. The bridge features 56 cables arranged in four planes. Each plane has seven cables per side of the 182-foot main towers. Each pair of cables supports a bridge deck section of 60-feet-long by 6-feet-thick.

The sections were unique at the time of construction because they are a combination of prefabricated steel and precast concrete. In 2001, the bridge cables were wrapped with a white reflective coating to limit thermal elongation of the cables. Today, both of these innovative features are common on more recent cable-stay bridges.

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Local Assistance

A long time dream of civic leaders, Quincy, Illinois was awarded a grant from IDOT in 2007 to illuminate the Bayview Bridge. The City hired Klingner & Associates and Brown Electric Company to combine their expertise to provide a conceptual lighting scheme for the illuminating the bridge along with constructability review, and cost estimates.

Although the bridge lighting project was originally envisioned using monotone white lights with optional colored filters for special occasions, the project evolved into a cinematic light show.

High-lumen LED fixtures made this possible. On-site testing demonstrated that the chosen luminaires from Acclaim lighting could light the 180-foot tall concrete towers from the bridge deck. Then, Klingner & Associates developed a final lighting concept. This concept employs above-deck lighting for the support cables and the towers and below-deck lighting for the anchor piers and tower bases at each end of the cable-stay span.

Digital multiplex (DMX) controls allow each fixture to be controlled individually and special effects such as fading can create light shows on the bridge structure.

Missouri-based firm, Lighting Associates supplied the lighting system after a competitive bid process. They also delivered all the custom programming for the light shows with the DMX controls.

Robert Locke, project manager at Lighting Associates, said, “The scale and location of the bridge was a big challenge for several reasons. Since the bridge connected two states, we had to coordinate the project with two Department of Transportations, Illinois and Missouri. We did not want to interrupt traffic patterns on the bridge or the river below while updating the lighting system. This includes the barge traffic on the river, which involves turning on and off the below-deck lights at night to help them navigate under the bridge.”

“Based on those criteria, we needed to find a lighting system that was energy efficient, provided great color saturation to highlight the architectural beauty of the bridge, and met the needs of both transportation departments” added Locke.

Energy Efficient Luminaires from Acclaim Lighting

The final LED-based lighting design resulted in a 72 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to the initial metal-halide light monotone-white concept.
The LED lighting also used 91 percent less electricity than the initial estimates when the project was first envisioned in 2002.

According to Brown Electric Company and Klingner Associates, actual energy usage has proven to be even less because the fixtures only use their maximum power when producing certain colors that combining all four LED colors in the fixture simultaneously. Amazingly, the power consumption to light the bridge on a typical night is equivalent to running two hairdryers at the same time. The reduced energy consumption allows smaller power conductors and conduit to supply power to the fixtures, resulting in reduced installation costs.

Bridge Uses Dyna Drum HO and Dyna Flood QA Fixtures from Acclaim

The Bayview Bridge is highlighted with Dyna Drum HO and Dyna Flood QA luminaires from Acclaim Lighting of Los Angeles, California. Dyna Drum HO is an IP 66 wet-rated high-powered, quad-color architectural lighting fixture with a wireless digital multiplex (DMX) control option that is perfect for facade and large-scale area flood lighting. The Dyna Drum HO fixtures feature an adjustable yoke with onboard 180-degree flip inverted digital control display for menu selections and addressing for precise lighting control. The luminaire consumes only 270 watts, but they can replace traditional 400-watt discharge fixtures. Die cast aluminum housings enable superior heat dispersion.

The color-changing Dyna Drum HO uses RGBA chips. The fixture comes standard with beam angles of 6 degrees, with 25-, 40- and 60-degree-spread lens options. It also offers a four-channel, DMX-512 control system, including both wired and wireless protocols built-in.

The other luminaire type, the Dyna Flood QA also contains four colors, RGB+amber, under a single lens using Acclaim Lighting’s Quad-color technology to mix the colors under the lens. Consuming just 60 watts, the units are warranted for five years and retain 70 percent of brightness at 50,000 hours.

Both Dyna Flood QA and Dyna Drum HO come in die-cast aluminum housings in gray, black and white versions. The units mount to a standard 4-inch-round electrical box.

The DMX-controlled lights have 16 custom programmed color sequences (shows), enabling the city to quickly display different color schemes with app control through a cell phone.