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Colorful new lights will illuminate landmark Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Here’s a sneak peek

A preview of colorful light displays coming to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

A $15 million project to install color-changing lights on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge should be complete in the fall of 2019. The lights are for safety and aesthetic purposes, according to FDOT.
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A $15 million project to install color-changing lights on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge should be complete in the fall of 2019. The lights are for safety and aesthetic purposes, according to FDOT.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is an internationally recognized landmark.

Now, the iconic structure is about to get even more noticeable with the installation of thousands of color-changing lights.

The Florida Department of Transportation project began in 2017 and is slated to be complete this fall. Testing is currently underway.

Once installed and activated, the roughly 1,800 LED light fixtures will brighten the columns, main span and side spans of the bridge when the sun goes down.

The fixtures’ color-changing abilities will allow for eight lighting patterns, including a gold-hued “Gateway” option, “Purple Majestic” and a fluctuating pattern called “Elegant.” “Patriotic” and “New Years” themes will add a festive touch to Tampa Bay during holidays.

The bridge is being illuminated for both aesthetic and public safety purposes, according to FDOT.

Floodlights will act as a safety and security feature for the underside of the bridge.

As for the looks, FDOT calls the project a “unique enhancement” unlike any in the world.

“The Skyway is the gateway to Tampa Bay and the flagship bridge of Florida,” FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson told media outlets. “The project will stand for the Tampa Bay region as an inspiration for residents and all who visit.”

The project is funded by $15 million in toll funds from drivers who use the bridge.

Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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