Texas Street Bridge Will Get New Lights
Get ready for new lights on the Texas Street Bridge. The Red River Waterway Commission has ok'd spending $1 million dollars to install LED lights on the iconic bridge.
This money is being used to match another million donated by local optometrist Dr. George Bakowski. It will now be called the "Bakowski Bridge of Lights". Behind the scenes, there have been talks about getting this done for a couple of years.
Shreveport Regional Arts Council Executive Director Pam Atchison tells KTBS “this could not have happened without Dr. Bakowski's incredible million-dollar donation and she is so grateful that the Red River Waterway Commission took the challenge to match Bakowski’s donation to buy the lights and they are going to pay to install the lights on the Texas Street Bridge.”
The $15 million dollar construction project on the bridge was recently completed by the Department of Transportation and Development and now the last thing to get done is the lighting project. This part will now go out for bids with the hope of final completion by July 4th.
The Red River Waterway Commission is asking the cities of Shreveport and Bossier to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement to be responsible for maintaining the lights.
In 1993, during the Hazel Beard administration, public funds were spent to install neon and laser lights on the bridge, but the laser lights failed almost from the get go and they were removed. The neon lights were also problematic and maintaining the lights became an issue. So the bridge went dark. All the lights were removed in 2014.
The good thing about the LED lighting is that the colors can be changed for specific events. For instance, the bridge could be red, white and blue for July 4th. It could be pink for Breast Cancer Awareness or Purple and Gold for the LSU Tigers. The configurations are endless.