Lighting up the Night: The Acosta Bridge

by | Jun 30, 2020 | Electrical Contracting

The Acosta Bridge in Downtown Jacksonville is not only a staple of the city’s skyline but also a necessity for daily commuters. The bridge spans six lanes and includes two sidewalks as well as two monorail tracks running through the middle to accommodate the Jacksonville Skyway.

Now, the iconic bridge has again become a focal point of Downtown Jacksonville with a new 2.6M state-of-the-art color-changing LED lighting system. The original neon blue lighting system was installed in 1999 but was turned off in 2015 after maintenance workers discovered electrical wires hanging over the guideway, creating a safety risk. To ensure the success of this advanced design-build project, we collaborated with the owner (Jacksonville Transportation Authority), the developer (Centrix Energy Partners), the designer (RS&H), and several local lighting manufacturers, lighting control integrators, and MBE/WBE project support companies.


Our scope of work included replacing the decades-old, original neon lighting system with a new decorative lighting retrofit LED system. The overall length of the lighting installed on both sides of the Automated Skyway Express track is over 4000 ft long with over 50,000 feet of conductor cable. There are over 500 light-weight, linear fixtures mounted horizontally to the top cable railing. Additionally, the lighting system (including luminaires, ballasts, decoders, signal boosters, pathways, cabling, and the controller) is equipped to be immune to environmental conditions imposed by weather, UV rays, salt spray, and flying debris, and vibration.

The Acosta Bridge is now the only LED color changing bridge in North Florida. With the capability to customize pre-programmed light shows, it will stop anyone in their tracks. To celebrate holidays and special events, including Christmas, Easter, Florida Georgia Weekend, and July 4th, there are pre-programmed designed scenes and light shows ranging from 10-15 minutes. Daily pre-programmed blue lighting scenes will chase the Skyway carts as they cross the bridge. Also, pre-selected lighting scenes can be controlled remotely through SixEye,  a unified remote management solution for systems integrators. This process enables the system to be easily controlled through a connected app from anywhere in the world. The system is designed to allow interoperability with other lighting projects planned for display during special events for downtown Jacksonville. 

Jacksonville is called home by the NFL Jaguars, leading healthcare institutions, Fortune 500 financial corporations, headquarters to multiple transportation and logistic companies, and now the most captivating bridge. Jacksonville is quickly becoming the preferred location for hosting publicized international events, and the Acosta Bridge lighting project embodies the innovation, advancement, and creativity that is the heart of our beloved, bold, and now, bright city.

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