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A historic bridge, 

into a landmark

Big River Crossing

Memphis, Tennessee/West Memphis, Arkansas USA


See how dynamic lighting transformed this historic bridge into a regional landmark

Big River Crossing

the bridge

and adjoining Big River Crossing through dynamic lighting experiences will ensure its role as a source of great pride for our city and the region for the next hundred years and more.”


- Jim Strickland Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee

Big River Crossing
Big River Crossing

Customer Challenge

Big River Crossing opened to the public on October 22nd, 2016. It is the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River. Adjacent to the historic Harahan Bridge, it serves as the centerpiece of a $43 million Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector project, a 10-mile project linking downtown Memphis, TN and downtown West Memphis, AR with walkable and bike-able streets, pathways, and trails.


The Big River Crossing required 2,370 separate fixtures with over 100,000 individual light points, forming a total of 9,480 feet of lighting. The Philips Color Kinetics luminaires offered an expanded palette of more than 16 million colors, which form a variety of beam angles that showcase the depth and structure of the bridge. The bridge typically lights the skyline in an amber hue, but also has the ability to change colors for holidays and special occasions.


Because the bridge is constantly busy with watercraft and train traffic, it was vital that the lighting could be remotely adjusted with short notice. Planners installed a control system that allowed the lighting to automatically dim to a lower level in order to accommodate rail and maritime lighting requirements.

Big River Crossing

The right lighting

Planners and designers selected Philips Color Kinetics ColorGraze MX4 Powercore luminaires for the massive project. The lights highlighted the architectural detail and natural patina of the bridge.


The installation also incorporates the cloud-based Philips ActiveSite connected lighting platform. ActiveSite allows for the remote management of the architectural LED lighting system, including diagnostics, reporting, data analytics, and control, with very little downtime.


Using a single dashboard, authorized users can change scenes, effects, and light shows from a remote PC or tablet device. The platform also allows users to schedule shows ahead of time for special events, helping the city constantly refresh content for the bridge.


The new lighting installation allows the region to showcase spectacular light shows and stunning dynamic effects, creating a center of activity for the local community and visitors while enhancing the vibrant waterfront and encouraging further development.


ColorGraze MX4 Powercore RGBA/RGBW


These intelligent, RGBW or RGBA fixtures offer an expanded palette of intensely saturated full-color light output in a variety of beam angles. 


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ActiveSite is the first ever cloud-hosted connected lighting system for remotely monitoring, managing, and maintaining architectural LED lighting installations.
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Once a pathway, now a
dynamic landmark

The Team

Downtown Memphis Commission


Koontz Electric Company, Inc. 

Electrical Contractor

Garver Engineering

Electrical Engineer

HDR, Inc.

Structural Engineer

Modjeski & Masters


OCCI, Inc.

General Contractor

Allen & Hoshall

Technical Consultant

All World Project Management

Technical Project Manager

The Irvine Company

J. Ritchie Smith Assoc.

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