TIERRA VERDE, Fla. (FOX 13) - The promise of a colorfully-lit Sunshine Skyway Bridge became a reality this week, much to the delight of photographers, boaters, and drivers around the Bay Area.
The Florida Department of Transportation installed color-change LED lights on 1.7 miles of Tampa Bay's iconic bridge.
A total of 1,824 high-efficiency fixtures now illuminate the main span of the bridge, as well as the columns underneath, fading down to the waterline.
"Necklace" lights also run along the length of the main span and high-level approaches.
The bridge's new lights can alternate between eight themes, and can be used to mark holidays and events. The illumination is being tested through the end of October and will become a nightly feature starting in late November.
FDOT says the primary purpose of the lighting project is to create aesthetic lighting on the structure, but also to enhance safety and security by providing more light to the underside of the bridge.
The project comes with a price tag of $15-million, which FDOT comes from tolls collected from drivers crossing the bridge.
Officials said other large bridges in the state incorporate colorful lights in their designs, including Sarasota's Ringling Bridge, Miami's 17th Street Bridge, and the five bridges crossing the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.