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ODOT to install new solar navigation lights on Astoria-Megler Bridge
ODOT News
An artist's rendering of the new solar lights.
An artist's rendering of the new solar lights.
The Oregon Department of Transportation will be installing new solar powered navigation lights on the Astoria-Megler Bridge as part of a pilot project approved by the Federal Highway Administration. The work is expected to take place in the summer of 2011.
 
The project includes the installation of new lights, solar panels and batteries on the bridge piers and superstructure. The existing lighting system will remain in place as a backup for a minimum of one year while the solar powered lighting system is tested.
 
The Astoria-Megler Bridge, built in 1966, connects Oregon and Washington over the Columbia River on U.S. 101. It still contains the original navigational lighting system. However, the existing electrical conduit has deteriorated and needs replacement. The FHWA approved the $355,000 pilot project funded through an Innovative Bridge Research and Development Grant.
 
“If this pilot project is successful, we would like to consider using these durable solar powered systems for other coastal and remote area bridges,” said Benjamin Tang, a preservation managing engineer with ODOT Technical Services. “In this case, it was lucky timing because we were planning on replacing the corroded conduit for this bridge and researching alternate lighting systems for other bridges anyway.”
 
While there will be no roadwork on the bridge deck, there may be some small delays to traffic. Intermittent single lane closures may be required to position and install equipment on the superstructure.