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Street Lighting Broadway - San Diego, CA

San Diego brightens Broadway with prismatic lighting
City lights up in time for Super Bowl

The bright lights along Broadway in Downtown San Diego do not typify the glamour of New York City as one might expect. Rather, they illuminate the historic and heavily traveled ceremonial corridor running through the heart of downtown to the beautiful bayfront.

During the past decade, the Centre City has undergone a dramatic transformation as residents and businesses began moving back to the heart of the city and away from the suburbs. The Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), the planning arm of the City’s Redevelopment Agency, has worked diligently to enhance the infrastructure and make downtown a safe place to visit, work and live. To date, $3 billion of redevelopment activity has occurred, and the process is expected to continue at a similar pace well into the future.

After lighting fixtures were successfully installed in other downtown neighborhoods as part of an extensive renovation and beautification project, the city council made the decision to retrofit the acrylic luminaires along Broadway, which had been installed during the 1960s and 70s. Over the years, age, weather and salt in the air had taken their toll, discoloring the plastic globes and diminishing their effectiveness.

“The city wanted to brighten the area to increase the level of safety for drivers and pedestrians,” said Roberto Saucedo, CCDC’s Senior Project Manager- Public Works. “City officials also wanted lighting fixtures that would be aesthetically pleasing since almost everyone who visits downtown San Diego travels along Broadway at some point during their stay.”

During the retrofit, the aged fixtures and poles were removed and replaced with decorative double-globe Washington PostLite® luminaires with Lunar Optics™ from Holophane. Because San Diego has a perceived light pollution problem—and because the city is located within 50 miles of the Mount Palomar Observatory—the city instituted a lighting ordinance limiting the amount of illumination that can shine up into the sky.

The advanced optical system on the Washington PostLite luminaires with Lunar Optics significantly reduces the direct uplight while allowing a small amount of light to shine out the top of the prismatic glass acorn refractor.

A total of 178 luminaires were installed along the four-lane street, mounted 2 1/2 feet from the curb. The luminaires were installed on dark blue cast iron poles that are 22 feet high. The poles are spaced 75 to 100 feet on center, with two luminaires installed on every block. A number of poles include banner arms.

Ace Electric, the contractor for the project, faced the challenge of replacing the poles and luminaires within a relatively short period of time. Since San Diego was hosting Super Bowl XXXVII, city officials wanted the retrofit completed before the thousands of Raiders and Buccaneers fans converged on the city.

“Even though this is an older section and we had to install some of the poles over basements, the project went very smoothly,” said David Ensminger, project manager for Ace Electric. “The fixtures and poles were easy to assemble.”

Photocells control the Washington PostLite luminaires. Illumination levels along Broadway are .5 footcandles.

“This section of San Diego is beautiful, with medians planted with Senegal Date Palms and colorful shrubs ,and Magnolia trees within the sidewalk areas,” said Saucedo. “The Washington PostLite luminaires not only complement the look and feel of the area, but also provide high levels of visibility. Since the luminaires have the glass reflectors, we also expect them to be highly durable.”

Saucedo indicated that the city plans to install single- and double-globe Washington PostLite luminaires in other areas within the Centre City.


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