The City of Memphis plans to replace all of the 196 aging light bulbs on the Hernando DeSoto Bridge with color-changeable LED lights, according to an article from CommercialAppeal.com. The Downtown Memphis Commission intends to replace all of the light bulbs early next year. The plans are similar to its plans for lighting the Harahan Bridge. The city plans to keep the lights white at first, but may eventually decide to add some color, Public Works Director Robert Knecht said in the article.
On Tuesday, the Memphis City Council voted to accept up to $12 million in private donations for bridge lighting projects.
Who would decide about what colors to display is still an open question, he said in the article. The DMC is managing the LED lighting retrofit of the Hernando DeSoto bridge and the installation of color-changeable LED flood lights on the Harahan bridge, according to the article.
The burden of managing the lights’ operation could also fall to the DMC. The DMC plans to cover Harahan’s maintenance costs with the $12 million in donations that the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is still collecting. The new lighting for the Harahan Bridge, which is north of the I-55 bridge, is part of the $17.5 million bridge renovation. The renovated bridge will be known as Big River Crossing, for its pedestrian and bike paths. The bridge’s grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 22.