Last April, in the midst of the COVID-19 shutdown, Birmingham was treated to a rainbow of lights that appeared on the newly opened I-59/20 bridges downtown.
After a while, they disappeared. Now they are back permanently.
One of a Kind
Who can forget the past two years when ALDOT removed and constructed the new I-59/20 bridges that bisect downtown. Unbeknownst to many of us, the plan has always been to install a huge one of a kind lighting installation under and along the new bridges.
According to Steve Haynes, Assistant Region Engineer for ALDOT, who oversees the design underneath the new I 59/20 bridges, the lighting will be a permanent fixture.
As you can tell from our photos and video, colorful lights cast a “glow” on the columns, while the ribbon lighting accentuates the bridge structure.
“The lights will be controlled, so the colors will change regularly,” said Haynes. For instance, on Valentine’s Day the bridges could be red. During UAB home football games, the bridges can turn green and gold.”
For the next month, if you do plan a visit, be mindful, ALDOT is still installing the lighting and working out the bugs.
More good news! Along with the new lights, in January or February, ALDOT will start designing and building Citywalk, the new and exciting public space underneath the bridges.
“I’m really excited for the city of Birmingham because the lighting and Citywalk are going to put it on the map, there is no doubt about it,’ exclaimed Haynes.
The Citywalk is expected to open just in time for the World Games.
City of Lights
If Birmingham can keep this up, we just might earn the title “The City of Lights” (I see you shaking your head – but Paris is The City of Light – which stands for the enlightenment).
We are getting there.
The Rainbow Tunnel
After the I-59/20 bridges what’s next? We’d love to hear from you. What else should we shine a light on? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org