Something stunning happened in Birmingham (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

5920 bridge lighting
The new lights under the 59/20 bridge downtown. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Late last night, like many of y’all, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed reading way too much news when up popped a gorgeous video of the new lights under the I-59/20 bridges running through downtown. Imagine my delight when I realized it was done by my incredibly talented Bham Now coworkers Matthew Niblett and Nathan Watson. Find out more of the backstory on the project and the next steps here. Plus, watch the video below.

First, the video

Yesterday, we got wind of the new lights under the bridge, and by last night, our videographer Matthew Niblett and content producer Nathan Watson had already gone out to check it out for themselves.

When the video started popping up in everybody’s feeds, our audience of 40k+ on Facebook and almost 51k followers on Instagram went wild. In fact, the video has been blowing all of our viewing and engagement records out of the water.

We feel like it met a huge need for some good news in our community, and we were delighted to have the chance to share a bit of happy right now.

Now, the backstory

I-59/20 Bridge rendering
One idea of what it could look like under the bridge when all is said and done. Rendering from 59/20 Bridge Facebook page

Even though I’d written about these lights back in June 2019, I’d completely forgotten they were on their way.

Last summer, when the story came out, we were all excited to imagine colorful bridges and under-bridge public spaces. The renderings looked nice and the concept was interesting. Some remained skeptical while others couldn’t wait.

For the past ten months, most of us went on about our business and then the coronavirus came. We’ve been sheltering at home and most of us haven’t seen downtown Birmingham except via video.

A closer look at the 59/20 Bridge lights

Look at these beautiful lights downtown, with the Alabama Power building in the background. Photos via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Everyone just got a new favorite photoshoot location in Birmingham. Aren’t these shots (above) that Matthew got just lovely?

In case you’re wondering what it will look like when you’re snapping pics of you and your people under the bridge, Nathan decided to be our model (below).

Nathan Watson of Bham Now under the 59/20 bridge
Content producer Nathan Watson modeling a lovely shade of green. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

What’s next?

This is just one tiny part of the planned public space under the bridge. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

The plans all along have been to complete the bridges, install the lights, and then begin work on Citywalk BHM.

Citywalk BHM is a large public space project brought to Birmingham via the Federal Highway Administration via ALDOT.

We don’t know what the timeline is now that the world is upside down, but for now, we’ll enjoy the lights under the bridges downtown.

Now tell us, Birmingham, what do you think of the rainbow bridge downtown? Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @bhamnow and on Twitter @now_bham and let us know!