Flipping the switch
Lab in Ottawa taking a look at how strong winds affect light poles on Confederation Bridge
A laboratory in Ottawa is studying the effects of extreme wind on the Confederation Bridge’s light poles.
It follows damage caused by a winter storm in February where winds reached 180 km/h on the bridge, which is hurricane strength.
Those winds literally sheared 10 light posts right off their base and into the Northumberland Strait.
Michel Le Chasseur, general manager of the Confederation Bridge, says that they took down another 20 light posts that hadn’t snapped off but had been weakened by those winds.
“We have to look at the (wind) event itself,’’ Le Chasseur said. “Those winds are the highest ever on the bridge. We had never seen that.’’
He said pole fatigue isn’t to blame.
“So far it doesn’t look like it because that’s the first thing we looked at.’’
All of the posts that blew off were located on the south side.
There are 310 street lights along the bridge’s 12.9 kilometre span.
All the lights have been fixed and the bridge has switched to LEDs.
“The light fixtures are not as heavy (and) don’t have the same shape as the previous ones.’’