Louisville, Kentucky – At a recent special ceremony on The Big Four Bridge, Louisville, Ky. Mayor Greg Fischer flipped the switch to reveal a new connected LED lighting system from Royal Philips (AEX: PHI, NYSE: PHG), the global leader in lighting. 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 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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“Illuminating iconic structures creates a meaningful impact in a community, a source of pride for residents that brings people together, attracts visitors and is a reflection of the city,” said Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting Americas. “The Big Four Pedestrian Bridge is a shining example of the positive impact that public-private partnerships can have in our communities. We are committed to working with city officials and local organizations to help make neighborhoods more livable.”