See Photos of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge Red, White, and Blue for Independence Day and Learn How It Is Done [PHOTOS]
The Aerial Lift Bridge, one of Duluth's most iconic landmarks, went red, white, and blue for Independence Day; marking the latest instance in a series of different occasions the bridge has been bathed in light of different colors in recent years to commemorate different causes.
This 4th of July marks the first time the bridge has been given a multi-colored look, which was pulled off by the team at Duluth Event Lighting. Ken Pogin, the owner of the company behind the effort, said planning for the patriotic display wasn't too difficult being they have been behind some of the other colored lighting endeavors involving the Lift Bridge.
Using experience from their previous lighting from the bridge, the planning and light preparation process took roughly 3-4 hours, and setup took a team of four people another three hours on the morning of the 4th to set up at the base of the bridge. Refinements were made to where the lights were pointed as the sun went down, and the final product was one that had many people stopping to take photos in Canal Park.
Pogin says the most involved part of the process is coordinating his team's efforts with the four governing bodies that have authority over the bridge itself. In order for any lighting project on the bridge, the group behind the lighting must coordinate with the City of Duluth, Army Corps of Engineers, Bridge Management Team, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Being the bridge is part of an international waterway, lighting projects are taken very seriously, as they impact ship traffic.
The Duluth Event Lighting team used 8 banks of LED lights at the base of the bridge to achieve the look; two banks of red lights on the mainland side of the bridge, two banks of blue lights on the point side of the bridge, and two banks of multi-colored (red-green-blue) lights on each side of the bridge to create the white light.
During the lighting, which was a one-night-only effort, the lift bridge's team shuts off the regular bridge lighting except for vital navigation-based lights.