Northampton Street Bridge, Easton, PA


Northampton Street Bridge in Easton, PA, also known as the ‘free bridge,’ is undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation and improvement project. The project’s objective is to extend the 125-year-old bridge’s useful life. With this comes a new, modernized lighting scheme where three different GVA Lighting luminaires – FLs, HLs, and STR9s – were chosen by the NYC-based Architectural Lighting Design firm, Domingo González Associates, and installed.

This special bridge was constructed in 1895 and 1896, designed by James Madison Porter III, a professor of engineering and an early advocate of materials testing. It is a rare bridge design that receives high marks among bridge enthusiasts and is one of the few extant eye-bar cantilever bridges in the U.S. The rehabilitation and improvement project at the iconic Northampton Street Toll-Supported Bridge have been in progress since September 2021, with significant weekday disruptions lasting until November 2022, followed by minor weekday restrictions in 2023, easing concerns of local businesses.

The bridge is often referred to as the “free bridge” to distinguish it from the Easton-Phillipsburg Toll Bridge a short distance upstream. The Northampton Street Bridge was last rehabilitated almost two decades ago. Spanning 560 feet and featuring a three-ton weight limit, this cantilever truss bridge, constructed between 1895 and 1896, holds a unique place in history. Designed by Janos Feketehazy, it bears a striking resemblance to Budapest’s Liberty Bridge.

Domingo González Associates is the Lighting Design company that created the lighting scheme for the Northampton Bridge improvement project. This Architectural Lighting Design firm, based in NYC, has been setting the benchmark for outstanding lighting design. Domingo González Associates decided to use three of GVA Lighting’s products for this project for a dazzling final effect, leaving people in awe.

“The lighting on the Northampton Street ‘Free Bridge’ and the repairs to the bridge and pedestrian walkway are both beautiful and practical enhancements not just for the bridge but the entire area,” said Warren County Commissioner Director, Lori Ciesla.

The eye-catching, color-changing LED architectural lighting system made up of GVA Lighting’s FL, HL, and STR9 product lines on the Easton-Phillipsburg ‘free bridge’ is on display, and passers-by can’t resist stopping for the views. Light testing had been going on a few weeks before the official re-opening of the bridge, granting spectators from both sides of the river an awe-inspiring view. Many local photographers have been displaying photographs for weeks as they watched the tests.

Rehabilitation work at the bridge has taken place on the structure, below the structure, and in the vicinity of the masonry abutments at both ends of the bridge. Now, this cherished landmark stands as a radiant testament to history, artistry, and engineering.

Lighting Design: Domingo González Associates

Representative: Independence Lighting

Engineers: GPI

Electrical Contractor: Carr & Duff