NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — The “Q-bridge” or Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge was built to look like a battleship.
Today, with the help of technology the bridge can take on a whole new look when the sun goes down.
If you step inside a concrete pillar, and up a steel ladder, you will arrive at the control system or nerve center for the Q-bridge lights.
The new LED aesthetic lighting system is capable of producing just about any color there is.
548 LED lights, 16 down below on the bridge and 6 space cannon lights help produce the affect.
“Those space cannons shoot light straight into the sky. They shoot a narrow beam of light up to six miles in the air,” said Matt Briggs, an engineer with the state of Connecticut department of transportation.
If you saw the red, white and blue colors for the fourth of July, you may have been impressed.
Getting the colors right to represent U.S.A was tricky.
“Then we came up with one side red, white blue…when we came up with that scheme it just popped”,” said Briggs.
With any new idea comes unexpected problems.
In this case it was migratory birds.
The birds seem to be attracted the white and red lights, so much so that they fly around it till exhaustion and then die.
It’s something officials keep an eye on when it comes to turning on the lights at the Q Bridge”
“We can turn the intensity down on the blue lights make them a little softer, we can turn the space cannons off to release the birds if any happen to be trapped,” said Briggs.
Another challenge has been choosing the colors, everyone has an opinion.
“As much as we like to accommodate everybody and all the requests it’s just not possible obviously. We do have a policy that details when they will be lite, what colors and how long,” said Domenic Larosa – District Engineer at the Connecticut department of transportation.
So far the feedback has been illuminating for the Elm city.
“You just don’t expect it, when you are coming up from New York especially, you can see it in the distance and you see this blue structure, red white blue structure -and You are driving on it, It’s so vibrant,” said Larosa.