What happened to plans for Narrow Bridge lights?

The in basket: Don Brandvold writes to say, “I was driving over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge the other night and noticed how dark the bridges are.

“Right after the new bridge was build, a group started collecting money to have lights on both bridges up the cabled walkways.  What happened to the project and also the money?  Will it ever happen?”

The out basket: There still is hope, says Desa Gese Coniff, a Tacoma lawyer who speaks for the organization. But they have been unsuccessful so far in getting final state approval for what they want to do.

They were very close to a start on the project, she said, when the state’s mounting financial problems caused it to take away money the group was expecting.

Then a lead state engineer objected to the plans that had gotten earlier approval, and efforts to get approval drag on. Assignment of the objecting engineer to the Alaskan Way viaduct project may be a factor, she guessed.

She also said the state so far doesn’t want the lights they are proposing to be used to their full capability, specifically changing colors and blinking.

“We have continued to tweak our plan for his approval and have found another light that would cost less,” she said. “We haven’t heard anything lately.” They seek to light both the old and new bridges.

They haven’t actually raised any money yet, she said, something they avoided to keep from having to return it. They’ll seek donations from private sources after the state signs off on the work.

“We have put thousands of hours into this, but until we can get the past this DOT issue, we can’t proceed,” she said.

Their Web site, narrowsbridgelights.org, isn’t being updated, she said, and my browser couldn’t find it. .


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