MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 29, 2009
IMMEDIATE
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge LED Necklace Lights Add "Green" Sparkle to New York Harbor Entrance

MTA Bridges and Tunnels has replaced all 262 old mercury vapor fixtures on its necklace lighting with energy–saving, cost efficient light–emitting diode (LED) fixtures at the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, gateway to the New York City harbor.  The move will reduce the electrical power required for the necklace lighting by 73%.  (See photo.)

An LED light uses 30 watts of power to give off the equivalent light of a traditional 100–watt mercury vapor light because they convert most of their energy into illumination, rather than warmth. The LEDs also have double the life span of mercury vapor fixtures—up to seven years vs. three—which translates into lower maintenance costs and substantially fewer roadway closures for light–changing work and, consequently, less inconvenience to customers.  Every day approximately 190,000 vehicles cross the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge.

"This is a win–win for the environment and our customers," said Bridges and Tunnels President Susan Kupferman.  "This is our first completed LED conversion and we hope to change out all of the necklace lighting at our other crossings over the next few years."

The occupational risk to Verrazano–Narrows Bridge employees is also decreased because work crews don't have to make as many trips up the bridge's main cables to the 693–feet high bridge towers to tend to the lights.  In the past, maintenance crews had to remove each 60–pound mercury vapor light, carry it down in a special bucket, followed by a return trip to install the replacement fixture.  The new LED necklace light fixture weighs about half as much as the mercury vapor fixture. 

The New York Power Authority partnered with Bridges and Tunnels to help finance the $187,000 project, and conduct preliminary testing. LSI Industries of Cincinnati, Ohio supplied the lights. 

The next Authority bridge slated to undergo LED necklace light conversion is the Robert F. Kennedy (formerly Triborough) Bridge's Queens suspended span, which has 190 mercury vapor fixtures that are expected to be replaced by next summer.


MTA Bridges and Tunnels' facilities, which connect the five boroughs of New York City, are the Throgs Neck, Robert F. Kennedy (formerly Triborough), Bronx–Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Verrazano–Narrows, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Bridges, and the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn–Battery Tunnels.

View from Staten Island shore of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge illuminated by energy-efficient and environmentally friendly LED necklace lights.

Photo caption: View from Staten Island shore of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge illuminated by energy-efficient and environmentally friendly LED necklace lights.