Mayor Kristen Brown and City Engineer Dave Hayward are inviting community members to the official lighting of the Second Street Bridge at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, in the parking lot of the former Columbus Pump House, 148 Lindsey Street. The bridge will be lit promptly at 7:15 p.m. for the first time in roughly a decade.
The lighting ceremony will celebrate the return of a well-lit bridge welcoming nighttime motorists across the East Fork White River into downtown Columbus. The Second Street Bridge has sat dark at night for years due to repeated vandalism of the old lighting system until Mayor Brown pursued the idea of having a new lighting system illuminate the bridge.
“The Second Street Bridge is world renowned for its design and a tremendous asset that is a part of our community’s identity,” Mayor Brown said. “The bridge provides a spectacular gateway into our downtown that will become even more stunning at night when it is returned to its glory and shining brightly once again.”
City Engineer Dave Hayward was instrumental in the design and implementation of the new, energy-efficient lighting system, which uses white LED lights capable of displaying a rainbow of colors. The lights can be changed to various colors to celebrate festivals, holidays, the success of local high school sports teams or other events.
Twelve LED lights are attached to 4 posts near each corner of the bridge, which will be out of the line of sight for motorists but high enough to discourage vandalism. The new lighting system will replace 42 road-level metal halide spotlights. The $135,600 project was paid for with tax-increment financing funds as the lighting is an infrastructure enhancement to the TIF district.
The new lighting system is estimated to only cost around $200 per year in electricity to operate and will also provide a significant reduction in maintenance costs. The old metal halide lights had a bulb life of about 16,000 hours, or about four years. The new LED lights should last for 50,000 hours, or about 12½ years.
The winning students in the Mayor’s Holiday Card Design Contest will flip the switch to turn on the lights at Tuesday’s ceremony. The Second Street Bridge will be lit all night year round after the official lighting.
“This is a great opportunity to illuminate the bridge after approximately 10 years of darkness,” Hayward said. “With this new lighting system, we can showcase the significant design of the Second Street Bridge.”