We quizzed our expert design team to provide answers to some of the key questions asked on the subject of “how to light bridges”, their thoughts, along with real-world examples, are below:
How can I increase safety and reduce maintenance?
Bridges can be busy and dangerous places. Choosing a light source with limited maintenance requirements and combining it with a good CMS can reduce downtime, disturbances, increase safety, and cut maintenance costs.
For inspiration - take a look at how our Barton Bridge luminaire and CMS project helped Highways England
How can I reduce complexity?
Working with a single supplier for luminaires, columns, and controls can help relieve some of the complexity of a project. This was the case for Mott McDonald when we worked on the QE2 Bridge, Dartford Crossing scheme.
How can I update for efficiency but hold tight to heritage and history?
When it comes to selecting a luminaire for bridge lighting, you need to consider mechanical strength, vibration, and corrosion resistance.
Updating to newer technology doesn't have to mean wiping the history and heritage of an area. Choosing a lantern with the right aesthetics for the bridge's location with the latest advances in technology could be a more sympathetic way forward, which is precisely what we did for our client, The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust when lighting one of Bristol's most recognisable structures.
Lastly, don't forget the support Columns.
Although many projects will be under the constraints of using existing columns on new projects, you should consider the height to deck level above the water, as the base of the column is considered to be in an elevated position, as well as the overall height of the column itself. (This is in addition to the local site altitude above sea level).
Question: is the bridge in an exposed area regarding the local terrain? If so, you should use terrain category one, the same as coastal areas.
Often, even with new columns, road authorities will want to re-use existing foundation studs, these need to be surveyed for fixing centres and size of stud. Is there a limit on the thickness of the flange plate relative to the existing stud projection above the foundation?
We hope these pointers have helped get you started, if you would like to discuss your bridge lighting project further, then please contact the team.