AZ Central reported this morning that "Roads and Bridges Magazine named the Tempe Town Lake Light Rail Bridge the tenth best bridge built in 2008." They go on to say that "The Light Rail Bridge was selected from a group of 70 other nominees for its superior design and construction. In order to be considered for the award, the projects had to have been in the construction or design phases within the past 18 months. The bridge, which is 1,530 feet long, spans Tempe Town Lake. LED lights installed along the sides of the bridge will provide a colorful show as the light rail passes, approximately every ten minutes."
In the past, I have mentioned that nearly $22 million was spent to build the bridge to carry light rail cars and passengers over the lake. The bridge design includes a state-of-the-art fiber-optic lighting system that can change colors as the train crosses and provide other interesting visual effects. A fiber optic tube will be installed under the deck of the bridge and illuminate screens covering the truss structure. The lighting component will be the art feature for the bridge, and was conceived by artist Buster
Simpson who is developing several lighting programs to control the color, pattern and movement of the light, such as how quickly the colors change or move across the bridge. We have some pictures of the light rail bridge and will be adding to the collection in the near future so be sure to check back. I also shot a video of a train crossing the bridge on the 4th of July. It really will be a great site to see the bridge light up at night once the system becomes operational. So far, the lights on the bridge have only been used a few times but I believe they will be on each night after December 27th. Special thanks to Dan Mitchell for the following shot. Click the photo for more info.