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“It was a tight timeline but I’m proud to say that we made it and to see the bridge lit up in red and white on July 1 was something special,”
Built in 1930, the Main Street lift bridge in Welland, Ontario is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Niagara-area town.
A vertical lift system used to allow ships to pass through the Welland canal connecting to Lake Ontario. The lifting system was removed in the 1980s but this historic landmark continues to be an important connection between two busy thoroughfares stretching 70.6 m (232 ft) long and standing 30 m (98.4 ft) high.
But this architectural marvel wasn’t getting the attention due an iconic landmark. Finally, an idea took hold on how to give the bridge the prestige it deserves: light it up.
But not just any lights: energy efficient LEDs that can be programmed to create custom light shows for any occasion. It can be green for St. Patrick’s Day, or spooky orange for Halloween. Any colour combination imaginable can illuminate the 30 metre tall towers.
Niagara electrical contractors, Procon Constructors Inc. were charged with the installation of a new lighting system, the goal of which was to illuminate the bridge and add color to showcase the capabilities of the structure. Members of IBEW Local 303 hired by Procon connected a complex system of power supply and control cables with the objective to complete the work by Canada Day.
“It was a tight timeline but I’m proud to say that we made it and to see the bridge lit up in red and white on July 1 was something special,” said Anthony Tofano, Electrical Division Manager at Procon.
“We’re proud that we could help this project,” says Local 303 Business Manager Mark Cherney. “We’re a part of this community and we were very excited to help make it a better place.”
The old walkway fixtures were left on the bridge to maintain some of the historical significance. The new lighting features included; ColorReach Compact Powercore fixtures to light the two towers standing at either end of the bridge and to illuminate the operating cables. ColorGraze MX Powercore fixtures were used on the outer perimeter and underside of the structure to highlight the metal beams, and eW Burst Powercore was mounted to the center of the structure above the roadway for primary street lighting.
“It was an honour for Procon to work on the new lighting system for the historic Welland Canal Main Street Bridge and is a nice flagship project for us,” added Tofano.
The Main Street Bridge is now illuminated in vibrant colors and bright white light every day until midnight. The new installation has enhanced the major landmark which is enjoyed by the community and popular with tourists.
It’s another impressive and important project done right and done safely in partnership with an Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario contractor and IBEW electricians.