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New Lighting Revealed for Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge

This article was submitted by MassDOT.

On Friday, Dec. 14, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey celebrated the relighting of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge with local officials, community leaders, the Zakim family and The Lenny Zakim Fund. 

“Since construction, this bridge has served as a symbol for the Commonwealth,” Davey said. “Today, we renew our belief that a bridge can be more than a symbol. It can help build community. This new color technology will allow us to promote, engage and inform our community in a sustainable way.” 

“Lenny’s life and life work bridged all of greater Boston’s diverse communities, just as this beautiful bridge joins Boston’s neighborhoods together,” said Jude Goldman, executive director of The Lenny Zakim Fund. “And as this bridge now lights up the night sky, Lenny’s legacy brings light to us all as we work for a better world together.” 

The $150,000 investment allows MassDOT to light the Bridge towers in a more dramatic blue, but the technology also lets MassDOT create custom colors remotely, with the push of a button, with zero impact to traffic in order to participate in charity lightings and special events. 

In the past, any color adjustment required a pre-planned lane closure and manual filter changes on metal halide lights. 

In keeping with its GreenDOT policy, MassDOT is reducing energy consumption by approximately 80 percent with the installation of this dynamic LED lighting solution, made up of 16 fixtures. The LED lighting solution from Burlington-based Philips Color Kinetics uses high-bandwidth, bi-directional, Ethernet speed data transmission to enable the full range of dynamic, color-changing effects. The new system uses the bridge’s existing electrical infrastructure, avoiding costly and disruptive electrical rewiring. 

“This dynamic, eye-catching bridge, with its dynamic LED lights, once again serves as a beacon of light for Boston residents, neighbors and visitors,” said Jeff Cassis, general manager of Philips Color Kinetics. “Our work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Zakim family, and The Lenny Zakim Fund serves as a model example of how a joint public/private collaboration and commitment can strengthen our Boston community.” 

MassDOT Highway District 6 staffers worked beneath the bridge stringing more than a mile of new cable, installing lights, receivers and the final glare shields before aiming the lights with architect Miguel Rosales to prepare for today’s reveal. 

“The new LED lighting of the Zakim Bridge enhances the beauty of the structure by utilizing a more sustainable technology,” said Miguel Rosales, president of Rosales + Partners. “I congratulate MassDOT for their forward thinking and sensitivity towards a symbol of Boston.” 

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