SPECIALIZED LIGHTINGTuscarora Tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Project Profile: Tuscarora Tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Project: Mountain Tunnel Lighting & Touchscreen Control System

Scope of Work: Profesional Systems Engineering, LLC (PSE) completed a project for the design of a new mountain tunnel lighting system and computer control system as part of a $7 million tunnel renovation project for the PTC. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) recognized PSE with an award for design excellence. Key benefits of the new lighting and control systems are reduced maintenance, lower operating costs, and improved driver safety.

The 30-year-old fluorescent lighting system, once considered state-of-the-art, had become obsolete and costly to maintain. PSE designed a new system for the two-tube, one-mile tunnel to replace the fluorescent luminaires, switching, generators, and switchgear. It is comprised of almost 2,000 specially built high-efficiency, high-pressure sodium luminaires. Tuscarora is now the longest tunnel in the United States renovated to meet the most stringent tunnel lighting standards, specifically, the IESNA/ANSI RP-22-96 "Recommended Practice for Tunnel Lighting."

  • RP 22 study/verification
  • Luminance based calculations
  • Specialized infrastructure design
  • Complete switchgear renovation
  • Luminaire/lamp selection specification
  • PLC system/network design
  • Redundant emergency power
  • As-Build/design documentation and specifications

All tunnel systems operate through a sophisticated touch screen control system. The person manning the tunnel can control tunnel systems simply by touching their finger on the computer monitor.

The new system reduces maintenance. Longer life lamps are used and the luminaires are spray washable. The system uses high-tech, low-smoke, halogen-free, polymeric cables on non-corrosive cable tray for power feeds. Sidewall-mounted luminaires accommodate existing tunnel design, and provide clearance for trucks in the tunnel.

PSE met all the design criteria for the replacement system including:

  • Met IESNA/ANSI RP-22-96 "Recommended Practice for Tunnel Lighting" design recommendations,
  • Limited total power demand to the existing system demand,
  • Provided a system with excellent maintenance characteristics,
  • Provided a "smooth" change in light levels in the transitions zones and
  • Used side-wall mounted luminaires because of ceiling height restrictions.

Advanced Technologies Applied:

  • Almost 2000 high pressure sodium luminaires tested to meet stringent high performance photometric requirements;
  • Special wiring provides dual-redundant lamping back-up;
  • Multiple transition zone switching;
  • PLC networks via fiber – all server based with a manual default;
  • Touchscreen control/monitoring with custom graphic annunciation;
  • High voltage switchgear replacement with digital network monitoring;
  • Four 200 KW backup generators;
  • Four 75 KVA UPS systems;
  • Specialized environmental infrastructure including non-corrosive cable tray and low smoke, halogen free, polymeric cables; fiber optic communications; and
  • Contract administration for concrete ceiling slab drainage reconstruction.
Tunnel Lifgting
Mountain Tunnel Lighting & Touchscreen Control System
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