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Has anyone ever looked into putting decorative lighting on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge?

Patrick Gannon
Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

The tall ship U.S.C.G. barque Eagle glides safely under the raised Cape Fear Memorial Bridge in 2003. (StarNews file photo)

Back in May 2006, the Wilmington City Council unanimously urged the N.C. Department of Transportation to install lights on the bridge to help show it off at night.

At the time, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said lights would “add personality” and beauty to the aging structure.

City officials hoped the N.C. DOT could get funding for such an effort as part of a project being planned by the state to upgrade electrical systems on the bridge.

But as with many “bright” ideas, financial concerns got in the way.

Amanda Glynn, N.C. DOT division bridge program manager, remembers researching the idea back in 2006 and finding it would have been an expensive undertaking.

According to 2006 estimates, it would have cost about $1.5 million to install decorative LED lighting, she said, not to mention the annual electricity costs.

And, she said, it would have cost about $500,000 to install normal bulbs on the bridge, but the regular electricity costs for that type of lighting would have cost much more than LED lighting.

Glynn said the N.C. DOT asked city leaders if they wanted to take on part of the cost of installation and maintenance for decorative bridge lighting.

“I haven’t heard anything else about it,” she said.

User-contributed question by:
Jeff Martin

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