MTA Press Releases

Press Release
April 22, 2008
Energy-efficient LED Lighting to Shine at Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

At the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge today, a maintenance worker suspended in a bucket truck replaced the first of 262 fifty-pound conventional light fixtures and necklace lights with a new lighter fixture and an energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED) bulb.

The Verrazano-Narrows is slated to be the first among the agency's seven bridges to have hundreds of LED necklace lights installed in the next year as part of the authority's environmental program.

These lights will cut necklace light electricity use by 73% and, because they have an estimated 5-to-10-year usage expectancy, the move increases worker safety by minimizing the need to change lights or "re-lamp", high above traffic, which would require lane closures below and cause delays.

White "necklace" lighting is an architectural feature used on the Verrazano-Narrows, Triborough, Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges. Red lights spaced in between the white necklace lights are for navigational purposes, as are the four "beacon" lights (two atop each tower), also red as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels piloted this energy-efficient lighting on its facilities in 2004. The agency tests new technology such as LED lighting for at least a year in order to fully evaluate performance and reliability over a complete cycle of environmental conditions.

The transition to the new bulbs is consistent with the recommendations set forth in the interim report of the blue ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the MTA, convened in September 2007 by MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander. The report, released on April 14, called for greater energy efficiency, expansion of the MTA's use of renewable solar, wind and tidal power, improved building practices such as installation of vegetated green roofs on MTA facilities, and reuse of groundwater pumped daily by the MTA.

(Photo caption: Maintenance worker perched on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge works out positioning of LED necklace light fixture.)

The nine crossings owned and managed by MTA Bridges and Tunnels are: Triborough, Henry Hudson, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Verrazano-Narrows, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridges, and the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn Battery Tunnels.