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Engineers, lighting firms transform Cartier bridge

Engineers, lighting firms transform Cartier bridge
MONTREAL — A team of engineering and lighting firms has turned Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge into what is billed as the world’s first connected bridge.

A lighting concept known as Living Connections has transformed the bridge into a major visual landmark as part of the city's 375th anniversary this year.

A 30-minute inaugural light show took place May 17 and launched what will become nightly programming. The initiative relies on intelligent programming that adapts to the seasons, activating millions of connections, notes a media statement issued May 18.

The project is managed by Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated. Moment Factory is responsible for the concept, in collaboration with six Montreal-based lighting and multimedia studios: Ambiances Design Productions, ATOMIC3, Eclairage Public/Ombrages, Lucion Media, Realisations and UDO Design. The engineers for the project are the WSP–AECOM consortium, and lighting systems were installed by Pomerleau.

"We are very proud of this project, the result of an exceptional collaboration among several Montreal companies and talented individuals. For the next 10 years, Living Connections will undoubtedly be a remarkable icon and light signature for our city, and an unparallelled showcase for Montreal creativity and engineering," said Eric Fournier, partner and executive producer at Moment Factory.

The bridge will change with the seasons using a 365-colour calendar. Over time, the heart of the bridge will gradually shift from a spring green to a summer orange, a fall red and a winter blue.

Every new tweet sent with Montreal-related hashtags, including #IlluminationMtl, #375MTL, #Montreal, #Mtl and #Mtlmoments, is captured by the bridge's illumination system. The tweet is then transformed into moving light in the colour of the day. If the tweet is liked, the moving light expands. If it is retweeted, it accelerates. Otherwise, the moving glimmer of light disappears after a few moments.

Every hour at night, a series of five-minute animated lighting sequences has been scheduled. At midnight, the bridge activates to look like an urban clock, cycling through all 365 colours on its calendar, looking for the colour of the day.

Every morning, the lights will mimic the colour of the sky in real time.

Living Connections was produced with the financial participation of the governments of Canada and Quebec and the City of Montreal.

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