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Remember way back when, in 1993 when they lit the Texas Street Bridge up with neon lights earning it the moniker, the 'Neon Bridge?' It was great... while it lasted.

First, here's a bit of history about the Long-Allen Bridge. They started construction on the bridge in 1931 and it opened in 1933 as the first bridge built for both vehicles and pedestrians crossing the Red River in Shreveport, LA. Fun fact, the bridge is named for Governors Huey Long and Oscar K. Allen of Louisiana because the bridge was built during their administrations. You can find out more about what many consider to be a historic bridge because of its truss design here.

After years of having lights out intermittently, the City of Shreveport finally turned the lights off around 2014. Fast forward to 2021, it's time to light this baby back up again! With the progress of LED lighting, it's finally an affordable option.

Work began yesterday on what officials say will be a four-month project to relight the bridge. Sure, the work will cause a few delays, but don't you think it's worth it? Our city could use a win. Apparently, the Red River Waterway Commission, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the Downtown Development Authority, and Will Atkins all agree, because they've all provided funding for the endeavor.

According to city officials, the idea to relight the bridge with programmable LED lighting was thanks to Dr. George and Sandra Bakowski who donated $1,000,000 to purchase the lights. This plan has obviously been in the works for a while because the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development started the process of repairing and repainting the bridge in preparation back in 2019.

A. Currier

Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport said “This signals a bright new day for Shreveport-Bossier and upon completion, people will be able to watch light shows that will debut each month. There were many steps involved in making this vision a reality and I’m grateful to all of our partners who worked so hard on this endeavor.”

Colin Brown, Executive Director of the Red River Waterway Commission added, “We feel this project will greatly enhance the recreational and commercial aspects of the Red River and will assist in the continued growth of tourism in Shreveport-Bossier City. Further, we believe this project, when completed, will enhance the quality of life for the citizens in our area. Like everyone else, we can’t wait to see the finished product.”

We can't wait to see the finished project either! Let's all pray for a brighter day and night for our community!

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