A simple yet cutting edge lighting solution was designed for a three-arched bridge over the Rideau River in Ottawa. The bridge connects two suburban neighbourhoods and was called the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge prior to its commemorative naming.
Standard LED roadway fixtures mounted to the arches are fitted with custom reflectors. These reflectors use the spill light – light that would have been spilled into the river below or onto the opposite lane of the bridge – to provide decorative lighting for the trusses above. This innovative lighting strategy means that the truss lighting uses no extra fixtures, power or conduit, and spill lighting and glare are reduced. Energy usage, upfront costs and maintenance loads are lowered, and the truss structure is dramatically highlighted with a rhythmic pattern of uplight.
The Vimy Memorial Bridge was subject to review and approvals by the National Capital Commission, as this section of the river is considered a part of the Rideau Canal, a designated UNESCO world heritage site. Extra attention was paid to the experience from the waterways below and pathways surrounding the bridge. The custom reflectors are designed to reduce spill light into a historically significant zone of the river, improving the experience for boaters on this navigable waterway, and reducing impact on wildlife.
The simple metal reflectors are designed to last in a harsh environment as long as the LED fixtures they accompany. The truss lighting celebrates the arch structure, reinforcing the careful design of the bridge.