If you’ve caught a glimpse of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at night during the past week, chances are you’ve noticed the new lights. While the bridge was dressed in pink over the weekend to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s a small sign of what’s to come.
Lighting designers have been hard at work programming animated sequences into the lights’ software. On Monday night, boaters, fishermen and commuters were treated to a sneak peek at the new display’s dynamic capabilities.
Marquee lights, stretching almost two miles in length, were ablaze with color as electrical signals streaked up and down the sides of the bridge. Downward-facing floodlights affixed to the underside of the deck illuminated the span’s columns and smoothly transitioned from one hue to another.
The light display will be programmed with eight presets to mark holidays like New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, and to commemorate more solemn moments such as 9/11.
The $15-million upgrade was paid for with toll funds and has been in the works for more than a year. Originally scheduled for completion in late-summer, the project was set back months after lightning struck a transformer on the northern approach to the bridge.
Florida Department of Transportation officials now expect work on the new display to conclude in November.