Donors Providing $12 Million To Light Mississippi River Bridges

By Bill Dries

With the Big River Crossing on the north side of the Harahan Bridge moving toward a fall opening, the city of Memphis has reached an agreement with a group of anonymous donors for the lighting of the bridge by the Oct. 22 opening of the pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk.

An agreement is in place for the LED lighting of the north side of the Harahan Bridge by the October opening of the Big River Crossing board walk on the bridge. A group of private donors is putting up $12 million to light the bridge and relight the Hernando DeSoto Bridge. (The Daily News file photo)


The agreement includes a later relighting of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge and a nonprofit group that will oversee the maintenance and upkeep of both undertakings for the city.

Both bridges will be adorned with LED lighting.

In the case of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, the new lighting would replace the existing lighting of that bridge that debuted in the mid-1980s.

The $12 million in funding from a group of anonymous donors is being administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, which then sends the funding to the Center City Development Corp. specifically for the two bridges. It includes maintenance and upkeep of the lighting systems.

The Memphis City Council approved the framework for the funding at its June 7 session.

The agreement with the donors was reached after that framework was put in place. It is an agreement to provide the lighting system.