After over a decade in the dark, the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge has come alive with a new advanced LED lighting system from Philips Color Kinetics (PCK). Inspired by the 2010 United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) where he learned about the benefits and applications of LED lighting, forward-thinking Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame has worked with Philips, the global leader in LED lighting, to turn the 60-year-old bridge into a signature attraction for the city. The new lighting system is not only energy-efficient, it can be easily programmed to create different light shows, helping to boost tourism, one of the city’s main sources of income.
With its steel truss spanning 620 feet and sitting 138 feet above the ship channel, the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge is now a prominent display in the city’s skyline. The bridge, originally built in the 1950s, serves as a gateway to the city, but much of the bridge’s prior lighting system had been corroded by the severe environmental factors of the Gulf Coast, including extreme heat, harsh winds, and salt water. To evaluate LED lighting systems and ensure the technology was economically and technologically viable, the Mayor enlisted the help of Naismith Engineering and Spectrum Lighting, which tested lighting fixtures from several companies that were pre-programmed with 4 th of July shows.
The PCK system was not only easy to install, its light output was four-times the intensity of competing products. The city originally funded two smaller pilot projects with PCK lighting on wind vanes in the downtown area and on the local amphitheater to ensure the system could withstand the harsh Gulf Coast environment. Funding for the project came from the Texas Department of Transportation, the Port, the city of Corpus Christi and a generous donation from American Bank.
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