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Mayor, Public Works Debut Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge’s New LED Color-Changing Lighting System

July 21, 2015

State-of-the Art Computerized System Makes Bridge Safer at Night, Highlights Beauty of the Cumberland River and Reflects the Vibrancy of the Community

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean was joined by Metro Public Works last night in the inaugural lighting of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge's new specialty lighting system.

Mayor Dean flipped the switch, officially beginning the regular bridge lighting with a specially programmed demonstration of the creative capabilities of the unique LED lighting system.

The LED lighting includes over 685 light fixtures mounted on the arch, beams, cables, deck and roadway. The lights can produce 256 colors. The intensity can vary, and fixtures can be controlled individually, which is how color effects can be created from one side of the bridge to the other. The lights will fire up nightly at dusk and turn off at daylight. Most nights, the bridge will be lit white.

"The innovative design and construction of this bridge has made it one of the most iconic structures in our city," Mayor Karl Dean said. "This new lighting system beautifully illuminates the bridge's arch and cables and does so in a way that is energy efficient. I appreciate Public Works for initiatives like this that contribute to Nashville being a greener city."

Nashville now joins other cities, such as San Francisco, Oklahoma City, Boston, Minneapolis, and Little Rock, in revitalizing their bridges through improved lighting systems.

"The beauty of the color produced by the LED lighting system and the spectacular effects capable of being created are like nothing else," Public Works Engineering Chief Mark Macy said. "LED technology provides benefits of a longer life, more reliable operations and superior lighting capacity than traditional lighting. It is also not as expensive to maintain, so we knew when it was time came to upgrade the lighting system that this system was a win-win."

Some 17,000 vehicles per day cross the bridge, which spans approximately 1,660 feet.

More information on KVB Bridge

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Photos credit Metro Photographic Services:

Mayor Dean speaks at KVB press conference
View of KVB bridge at night
Alternate view of KVB bridge at night