Right by the Gulf of Venezuela, the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge in the lake Maracaibo connects the city with the same name with much of the rest of the country.
This 8.7 Km bridge opened in 1962 and serves as a vital infrastructure to the economy and mobility of the people in Maracaibo. To commemorate and celebrate its existence and importance, the government requested the 6 towers that support it to be lit. It became VIU URBANA & VARONALEDS’ job to design, install and commission this major task.
VIU URBANA & VARONALEDS’ was challenged to complete this job in a short time-frame, and with a live bridge with traffic passing by around the clock. The lighting fixtures had to be installed at both sides of the bridge, which meant having teams in both lanes.
“It was almost impossible for us to use cable to communicate between towers. Each is 280 meters away from the other, and the furthers one is at almost 900 meters” said Mr. Roberto Hernandez, director of VARONALEDS. The final drawing included the controller at the centre tower, and the signal transmitter to both east and west sides of the bridge.
In total, the project included 12 White Box F-1 receivers, each with a 12 dBi antenna. These were mounted on a switchboard at the inside of the tower: “We chose the 12 dBi antennas due to their directionality. As we had line of sight, it was a no brainer to get this signal as directional as possible, using all its power to transmit to the next point without wasting any unnecessarily”, added Roberto. “The only thing we had to bear in mind were the big suspension cables that hold the base of the bridge, as they could have been a serious obstacle to this transmission”.
In total, 350 luminaires were installed, with an energetic saving of 38% for traffic lighting against the old system and an increase of 20% in brightness, also increasing the lifespan of up to 14 years on road lighting and 10 years on architectural lighting.
The fixtures were manufactured by Varonaleds, a system manufactured in Spain and shipped to Spanish speaking countries and the Middle East.
At Wireless Solution, David Ferraz liaised with Hernandez in making sure the technical competences were available to the installation: “We originally communicated via email when Roberto asked for a second opinion through our HelpDesk line”, said Ferraz. “When him and the team were on-site, we communicated via skype and messages. This helped them getting confident with the system, and as you know see they have done a remarkable job in an impressive time-scale!”.
Niclas Arvidsson, CEO of Wireless Solution Sweden, commented: “These kind of projects are the true representation of how rock solid our products are. We loved collaborating with Roberto Hernandez and the Varonaleds team, and the bridge is looking impressive – we can only expect similar projects of this magnitude!”.