Lighting on Big 4 Bridge comes with hefty price tag - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lighting on Big 4 Bridge comes with hefty price tag

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Waterfront officials plan to add fancy LED lights to the Big 4 Bridge, but they're coming with a big price tag.

Waterfront Development say they've been raising the funds for more than a year.

The idea is about two years old.

Waterfront officials were inspired after seeing bridges in other cities with colored LED lights.

"They've been extremely popular in San Francisco the Bay Bridge and also in Buffalo, the Peace Bridge. I said why can't we do this? I mean we have the bridge. We just need the lights," said Marlene Grissom, Director of Special Projects.

Grissom launched fundraising efforts right away.

She says it will cost about $1.8 million for the lights and installation.

"But it will probably be a little more than that. It'll probably be like 2.1 or 2.2 so we have to raise that extra money," she said.

That's for a contingency fund.

"They're expensive in the beginning but they're very inexpensive to maintain," Grissom explained.

She says some of the lights will last up to 25 years.

So far, they've raised about $1.9 million.

Most of it has already been paid and Grissom is confident they'll have full funding by the time the lights are ordered.

"Most of these people I think will pay their pledge," she told WDRB.

WDRB obtained the official list of the Big 4 Bridge lighting capital campaign.

Grissom estimates about 100 donors have pledged or paid so far.

They range anywhere from $25 to $500,000.

And everyone from individual, private donors to big businesses, non-profits and government organizations are giving.

The biggest donors, so far, are LG&E, Metro Government, and the James Graham Brown Foundation.

"I think people really want this to happen so they were responsive and we were fortunate," said Grissom.

Pledges for 2014 seem to support that, with Gallopalooza promising $350,000 dollars.

That's just one of many.

Grissom admits the LED lights aren't a necessity but waterfront officials believe they will have a positive impact on both sides of the river.

"I think it'll do wonders for the city and I think it will compliment. I mean the 2nd street bridge has those purple kind of splashes of color and this will be more intense," said Grissom.

A list of donors is posted here: Page 1; Page 2

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