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New Clifton Bridge lighting will celebrate Brunel centenary

NEW LIGHTING is to be installed on Bristol's Clifton Suspension Bridge in time to mark the double centenary of its designer, civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, in April 2006.

A total of 3,000 light emitting diodes will be installed, allowing close-up longitudinal illumination of the bridge's heavy chain and hangar structure.

Each heavy 'nut' or knuckle connector will be individually lit with two projector units containing three 1W LEDs, with a further pair of projectors at the mid point between knuckles.

In addition fluorescent tubes will be installed in the handrails to show the delicate tracery of the structure at deck level.

New lights will also illuminate the towers and abutments.

The lighting will replace the existing 'fairy lights' which run over the bridge's superstructure.

These are being removed because they are hard to maintain.

'They need regular maintenance with men working at height over the 200m deep gorge, ' said Alf Perry, civil engineer for the bridge's Trust, which maintains the bridge and collects its 30p tolls. 'We need to reduce the safety risks.'

Although Brunel was born in Portsmouth, Bristol will stage the biggest celebrations - reflecting his many achievements there including the Great Western Railway, the SS Great Britain and the bridge itself.

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