One of the most interesting highway bridges just happens to be right in our backyard. Besides the incredible and somber history of the 35W Bridge in Minneapolis, its next most interesting feature has got to be the state of the art LED lighting scheme. Admittedly, during the day, the bridge looks new, sturdy, and quite large—but it’s the night time that brings out the hidden gem. The entire under side of the bridge was outfitted with special LED light fixtures that can create virtually any color or any combination.
Most of the time, as I have driven near the bridge, the entire structure glows blue. It’s a really neat effect and, at least in my opinion, adds a very cool touch to our Minneapolis skyline. On special days, however, the bridge has been set to display other colors. It was changed to pink to bring more awareness to the fight against breast cancer, and it displayed a lot of different colors all at once during a local festival as well. Perhaps this year we’ll see green and red during the holiday season or purple and gold for a Minnesota Vikings playoff run. It’s just a really neat way to take something mundane and turn it into something quite striking.
Hats off to the designers and politicians that put this creative addition into the new Interstate 35W bridge. Not only does it look great, it shows off an energy saving source of light for the entire city to see. LED’s
may very well be the future of lighting and are certainly saving a lot of energy wherever they are installed.