Itchen Bridge to be lit up with LEDs

Itchen Bridge LED lightingThe landmark 1970s structure will be illuminated in pale blue light visible to ships arriving up Southampton Water, and to cars approaching the city from up to a mile away.

It is part of a massive overhaul of the 62,000-tonne bridge which will see 42 street lights replaced with white light columns.

The new columns, thought to cost between £100,000 and £200,000, will emit blue LED background light. The makeover comes three years after the council launched a £10,000 feasibility study into lighting up the bridge.

City artists called for the drab grey bridge to be transformed into various different forms of colour, light and moving art in a bid to rival the appeal of the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan, Humber Bridge in Hull and Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland.

A previous lighting plan to beam green lasers from the Civic Centre clock tower in the search for a wow factor to rival the likes of the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth was axed after environmental protests.

Councillor Matthew Dean, Cabinet Member for environment and Transport, said:

“We have made a huge commitment to invest in Itchen Bridge, make it safer, upgrade the technology on the bridge and light it up for years to come.

“This will be an impressive gateway to the city centre and the port.”

The council says the white light used on the bridge will be clearer and more environmentally friendly, with less glare and light pollution. And the blue LED lights will have “extremely low running costs”.

The lighting is being installed as part of a £225million contract with Southern Electric Contracting to replace street lights across Hampshire and West Sussex, including half the orange lamps in Southampton, about 13,500.

The new lights will go up in April after works costing £1million to strengthen the bridge are completed.

via Southampton’s Itchen Bridge to be lit up with LEDs (From Daily Echo).

[UPDATE] The repair work to the bridge has been done but so far, as of 5th May 2011, I have not seen any sign of the promised LED lighting on the bridge. Hopefully the project is just running late.