It doesn’t take an engineer to figure out that our roads, bridges, airports, and other transportation facilities are in dire need of repair, so the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act made us happy both personally and professionally.  And sure, it might start with the “poster child” for the bill – Brent Spence Bridge – but there are many other areas where these improvements will benefit all aspects of our transportation system in the coming years.

When it comes to roads and bridges, while most of that money should – rightly – be spent addressing structural deficiencies, there are tangible benefits to using lighting to enhance some of these structures. Think about the impact a project like Lowry Avenue Bridge in North Minneapolis or Samuel de Champlain Bridge in Montreal has on placemaking and civic pride, while also having the ability to increase foot traffic and stimulate economic growth.

The Infrastructure Bill is also designed to address climate change and resilience in a number of important areas, and it may come as a surprise that lighting is often able to address those concerns. The St. Croix River Crossing in Minnesota, for example, is in a highly sensitive environmental area. The aesthetic lighting enhances and organizes the nighttime appearance of the bridge, but is totally contained within the structure to minimize the amount of light escaping into the surrounding area. Both the aesthetic and pedestrian path luminaires are dimmable, so the community can control when the lighting is on and how bright it is.

Energy, comfort, safety, and resiliency are all considerations when HLB is involved in aviation projects as well. Take the Portland International Airport, where our Daylighting team was heavily involved in the design and specification of the building glazing, reducing glare and solar heat gain while providing boatloads of usable daylight. HLBs’ work on transit facilities such as Penn Station in New York City gives us the opportunity to create an environment for passengers and staff that might even make train travel through New York City a more pleasant experience.

The medium of light and the tools in our electric lighting and daylighting toolbox allow us to address the pressing issues of climate change with the products we specify and the way in which they’re used, all while creating buildings and structures that will be there for generations of travelers to appreciate and enjoy.

HLB designs lighting for every mode of transportation infrastructure: bridges of all types and sizes; new transit facilities and upgrades to ones that have become obsolete; airports that are expanding or need remedies to inadequate lighting or issues with heat and glare.  We’re passionate about creating structures and spaces that make the people using them feel proud, safe, and excited about how these reflect back on them.