“Plan Lumières 4.0”: Walloon motorways head into the future

Eclairage public le long de l'autoroute en Wallonie / Street lighting alongside the motorway in Wallonia
13 March 2019

Plan Lumières 4.0”: Walloon motorways head into the future

Verlaine, March 13th, 2019 – Carlo DI ANTONIO, Walloon Minister for Mobility, and the SOFICO (Société Wallonne de Financement Complémentaire – Walloon Complementary Infrastructure Financing Company) have just allocated a contract for the design, modernization, financing, management and maintenance of public lighting installations on main roads and motorways in the Walloon region to the LuWa consortium, composed of Citelum (authorized representative), Luminus, CFE and DIF.

The «Plan Lumières 4.0» (Lighting Plan 4.0), with a 20-year duration, will be executed under a PPP (public/private partnership). The contract includes the gradual commissioning of the new lighting starting on the second half of 2019 and the renewal of network infrastructure using LED lighting, i.e. around 100,000 lighting points over the first four years.

“Thanks to the new light sources, i.e. the LED, and a dynamic lighting made possible by new technologies, this plan will contribute to ensure a better service to users and to significantly reduce the energy bill with a consumption cut by around 76%” underlines Carlo DI ANTONIO.

Europe’s first smart and connected motorways
To meet all possible usage scenarios, the lighting points will be equipped with various remote management systems and several sensor types. The fully connected, smart network will enable light intensity to be modulated in accordance with traffic and various usage scenarios in addition to remote management via the new PEREX traffic management and monitoring center, located in Daussoulx (Namur province), when needed: weather conditions, road works, accidents, etc.

An IoT (Internet of Things) application based on Citégestion’s urban space management platform MUSE®, Citelum’s subsidiary, will enable SOFICO to implement new services (video protection, traffic light systems, access points, variable message signs, etc.), to control the lighting’s operation and to measure its energy consumption. In anticipation of the development of self-driving vehicles, the LuWa consortium will also deploy roadside units on all motorways and interchanges incorporating both Bluetooth traffic sensors and the latest V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology designed for communication with smart vehicles. Walloon motorways will thus become Europe’s first smart motorways, ready to welcome self-driving vehicles in the future.

Optimal, economical and eco-friendly lighting
The renovation plan includes the replacement of obsolete sodium lamps and the modernization of lighting infrastructure: transformers, power supply stations, power lines and street lamps, along 2,700 kilometers of motorways and national roads (including 400 kilometers of interchanges), and at motorway and vehicle-share parking areas. The choice was made to use long-lasting and sustainable materials from the standpoint of life-cycle and recycling.

Replacement by LED lamps, with lower energy consumption and a longer lifespan, together with a light intensity variation system, will ultimately allow for a 76% energy savings, preventing 166,000 tons of CO2 emissions and reducing light pollution. This new lighting which incorporates preservation of natural areas and biodiversity, will accordingly form part of the Wallonie#Demain environmental transition plan, supported by Carlo DI ANTONIO, Environment and Ecological Transition Minister.

Users and safety at the heart of the project
The works will be carried out mostly at night to minimize inconvenience to drivers and ensure the safety of works teams. The ultimate goal is to attain more than 99% equipment availability and to deliver flawless quality of service and operation.

The safety of the region will be optimized through the rehabilitation and bringing into compliance of the motorway lighting network. The high-performance LED lamps selected will provide more accurate color rendering for markedly improved visibility, comfort and safety for users.

Lighting levels will be stratified according to the different types of roads in question and will be modulated in accordance with given situations: interchanges that light up when a vehicle arrives, lighting to alert a driver moving in the wrong direction, enhanced lighting intensity during bad weather, etc.

Focus on human, social and economic factors
This ambitious project will position Wallonia as a model for social inclusion and employment: 400 new jobs created, 100,000 hours of training run with Missions Régionales pour l’Emploi (MIRE), payment of part of the Redevances de Disponibilité Brutes fund to personnel inclusion and recruitment companies through the scheme Entreprises de Travail Adapté (protected workshops).

The project’s budget is €600M over 20 years, to be financed by SOFICO. It will allow for the replacement of the entire lighting system, making it much more efficient, with a budget envelope identical to the one currently allocated to this item of expenditure.

For the project, SOFICO will be assisted by the government department SPW (Service public de Wallonie) for project-related technical operations.

This Plan Lumières 4.0 is one step of a major ITS (Intelligent Transport System) plan currently deployed by the SOFICO to develop the smart motorways of tomorrow.