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2 February 2011, 13:21 | Updated: 16 February 2011, 12:11
The Itchen Bridge into Southampton is going to be lit up with nearly 50 blue bulbs.
Once new lighting has been installed on the Itchen Bridge, the iconic 1970s structure will be visible to ships arriving up the Solent, and vehicles approaching the city from up to a mile away.
The Itchen Bridge is undergoing a complete overhaul. After being “jacked up” and having its bearings replaced, Southampton City Council’s street lighting contractor Southern Electric Contracting (SEC) will install 42 new white light columns. The columns will have a blue LED background light which will help make the newly refurbished bridge a truly impressive sight.
Meanwhile plans to install new automated toll booths will make crossing the bridge far more convenient for motorists, while helping to save the council hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Councillor Matthew Dean, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We have made a huge commitment to invest in Itchen Bridge, make it safer, upgrade the technology on the bridge and light it up for years to come.
“This will be an impressive gateway to the city centre and the port.”
The new lights will be installed as part of SEC’s streetlighting PFI contract with the council. The white light used on the bridge will be clearer and more environmentally friendly, with less glare and light pollution. The LED lights will have extremely low running costs.
Here is what is happening to the bridge:
The bridge will be jacked up the bridge as part of £1million works and replace some of its bearings in. This is happening now and is due to be complete in March this year.
Workers will begin taking down current lighting and replacing them with the new white light columns in April this year. This
work should be complete early in 2011.
New toll automated booths will be installed in later this year and ready to open early 2012. They will feature a variety of new ways to pay including debit and credit card. They will save the council around £250,000 a year.
New CCTV detection systems will also be installed to ensure increased safety on the bridge.
More than 19,000 motorists use the bridge every day. The bearings need to be replaced because they have failed. It would be dangerous to leave them for any longer.
The main span of the Bridge, which opened in June 1977, is 800 metres long and 28 metres above water level.