1. Florida

Sunshine Skyway Bridge will soon light up with colored LED lights

By fall, the bridge will have 1,824 light fixtures installed, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
Photo provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Photo provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Published Aug. 2, 2019
Updated Aug. 2, 2019

Tampa Bay stands to get a little brighter in about a month.

The Florida Department of Transportation is in the process of installing about 1,800 colored LED light fixtures on the Sunshine Skyway bridge, FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson said in an email Friday. The Skyway lighting project has been in progress “for many years,” Carson said, and should be completed in about a month.

Photo provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.

The project costs $15 million, according to David Botello, a digital and social media coordinator with FDOT. That money comes from tolls collected from drivers crossing the bridge.

“The Sunshine Skyway bridge is the flagship bridge for the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida,” Carson said in an email. “All other major bridges are lit and when new bridges are built, lighting is included with them. This project will stand for the Tampa Bay region as an inspiration for residents and all who visit.”

The lights will largely focus on the columns on the underside of the bridge and along the bridge’s side. In total, they will light a span of 1.7 miles.

The designs were created by Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design and the project is being installed by M & J Construction Company.

Although the lights are mainly an interesting addition to the bridge’s aesthetic, they also will help with safety and security in lighting the underside of the bridge, which “is very dark now,” Carson said.

An animation of the anticipated bridge lights include light shows like “Patriotic,” which flashes red and white, and “Sunset,” which blends through white, purple, orange and yellow.


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