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LRC News

March 2009
LRC Recognized by Transportation Research Board for Best Paper Submitted

Performance Evaluation of Semipermanent High-Mast Lighting for Highway Construction Projects was selected as the best paper submitted last year to the Work Zone Traffic Control committee of the Transportation Research Board, one of six major divisions of the National Research Council—a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies. The authors of the paper are LRC scientists Jean Paul Freyssinier, M.S., John D. Bullough, Ph.D., and Mark S. Rea, Ph.D.

The LRC research team evaluated a novel, temporary lighting system installed at a highway construction site along Interstate 90 in Albany, N.Y. The system included 60-foot poles with floodlight luminaires along the three-mile site. Upon completion of the project, the lights and poles were removed. At the request of the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the LRC compared the new system to the traditional method of using trailer-mounted, portable light towers, which have been linked to glare and uneven illumination levels in work areas.

The LRC documented the high-mast lighting system and its performance in terms of construction work quality, safety, visibility (for workers and drivers), and economics; conducted photometric measurements onsite; and developed recommendations for further refinement and optimization of the approach. Despite the higher total cost of the high-mast lighting system, the economic and societal benefits may be considerable. This lighting approach probably allowed the I-90 construction project to be shortened, leading to a significant reduction of traffic delays for motorists.

The full report provided to NYSDOT, upon which the paper is based, is available for free download from the LRC site.

About the Lighting Research Center

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. The LRC offers the world's premier graduate education in lighting, including one- and two-year master's programs and a Ph.D. program. Since 1988 the LRC has built an international reputation as a reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. The LRC also provides training programs for government agencies, utilities, contractors, lighting designers, and other lighting professionals. Visit

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Mary CimoWeb Production:Joann Coffey
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Mary Cimo
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