The Capital Cascades Crossing Pedestrian Bridge serves as the key connection between Cascades Park and Capital Cascades Trail, near Florida’s Capitol building, in Tallahassee.
The challenges were to provide a responsive design using light for enhancing the bridge structure at night and as a visual acknowledgment of surrounding stakeholder entities, coupled with an environmental message stressing low energy use and self-sustainability. Bridge columns spring from grade at unique angles to support organically inspired sunshade elements offering a contemporary interpretation of the city’s renowned tree canopy roads. Just south of downtown, the bridge is viewed from above and below by vehicular traffic, obliquely from passersby, and first-hand by those crossing on foot or bike.
A ground-mounted white-light LED luminaire accents each column, where thoughtful aiming minimizes distractions for drivers and diminishes stray light. Installed in the interior column surfaces, dynamic RGB fixtures fitted with custom mounting brackets produce indirect uplighting effects that envelope pedestrians, making them a part of the overall bridge environment. Spill light is minimized by the use of both glare shields and holographic beam-shaping lenses to sculpt distributions sympathetic to the individual canopy geometries. The color-changing canopy lights create dynamic effects that harmonize with other existing RGB-based park projects through centralized DMX controls. Effects include colors for seasons, holidays, “cause” awareness, and celebratory reinforcement for nearby Florida State and Florida A&M Universities, all centrally choreographed through a computer.
The design included the assimilation of cutting-edge, flexible solar collectors atop the sunshades. The “solar fabric” provides 115% of the total bridge lighting power throughout the year. As one of the country’s most eco-friendly pedestrian bridges, the Capital Cascades Crossing has become a signature, sustainable icon of Tallahassee.
Photography: © Figg Bridge Group