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LEDs Coming To East River Bridges, Highways, Central Park

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A current light fixture on the Brooklyn Bridge (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

A current light fixture on the Brooklyn Bridge (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The way major parts of New York City are lit is in the midst of a big change, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

All 1,600 metal-halide fixtures in Manhattan’s iconic Central Park are being replaced with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The $1.4 million project will begin later this month, with replacement of the 500 fixtures on the transverses to begin next year.

“The Department of Transportation’s introduction of LED fixtures in Central Park makes this green public space even ‘greener,'” said Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “Coupled with the Conservancy’s use of sustainable design materials and water conservation efforts, the City of New York’s forward-thinking improvements mean the Park will always be a phenomenal ‘back yard’ for New Yorkers.”

All 160 necklace lights on the Brooklyn Bridge, 166 lights on the Manhattan Bridge, 224 lights on the Williamsburg Bridge, and 218 lights on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge will be replaced with LEDs. The DOT said the Williamsburg Bridge is expected to be done this month, with the other bridges to follow.

The bridge light replacement is being funded by approximately $1.1 million, of which $492,000 is allocated from the Mayor’s Energy Fund.

Also being replaced are light fixtures along FDR Drive underpasses and along Eastern Parkway.

“There have been pilot programs going on around the city in a few locations and it’s been very successful and on the FDR drive, for example, we’ve saved a ton of energy, up to 50 percent on the FDR Drive and 83 percent in Central Park,” City Council Member Jessica Lappin, a driving force behind the LED switch, told Lamb.

The LEDs last longer and maintenance costs are lower. The program is expected to save the city $300,000 per year.

The George Washington Bridge, which is run by the Port Authority and not New York City, already has LED necklace lights.

What do you think of LEDs? Sound off in the comments section below.

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