The residents of the City of Morristown, Tennessee, take pride in a one-of-a-kind downtown landmark—an elevated sidewalk called the SkyMart, built in 1967 to address flooding issues. Over the years, as the city has evolved, upgrades have been made to the SkyMart, but lighting issues have persisted. Morristown Utility Systems called on Gresham Smith to develop a plan to upgrade the lighting and overall appeal of the system so that residents and visitors alike could continue to enjoy the city’s unique downtown experience for years to come.
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Unexpected VisitorsThe underside of the SkyMart was originally completed with electrical facilities, high-pressure sodium lighting attached to the elevated sidewalk, a speaker system, and lower sidewalk lighting. Over the years, the city began to experience issues with pigeons nesting in the cable trays beneath the elevated sidewalk where the power conduits ran, causing potential health risks to the public, as well as electrical issues and concern for local business owners.
“LED” There Be LightWe partnered with Massey Electric Company in 2016 to develop a plan to address the “nesting” concerns as well as upgrade the lighting and overall appeal of the downtown elevated sidewalk system. For the elevated sidewalk/street lighting, we replaced the existing lights with decorative LED fixtures. For the lower sidewalk, lay-in LED lighting was incorporated into a new lay-in PVC ceiling tile system, replacing the current open-access cable tray system. In addition, a new amplified speaker system was installed to replace the antiquated system that was not being utilized.
A National DrawcardThe Morrison SkyMart lighting upgrade was completed in late 2017. The City and business owners along the corridor report the enclosed lay-in ceiling has eliminated the nesting issues along the entire length of the project. The increased number of lights installed in the lower sidewalk, in addition to the reflective properties of the lay-in ceiling tiles, has increased the coverage of lighting along Main Street, reducing safety concerns for pedestrians in the area. The SkyMart is now the only remaining overhead sidewalk system in the United States, drawing in visitors from around the country.
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