I-35 bridges through Waco turn green and gold (and other colors)
Bridges are important to Waco.
When the city’s Suspension Bridge was completed in 1870, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi River. For the next 15 years, it was an important part of the Chisholm Trail’s path through Texas as one of the only bridges to cross the mighty Brazos River. And it remains an important part of Waco’s identity, as both a gathering place and as a symbol of the city’s identity.
With the advent of I-35, the bulk of the traffic moved to the highway’s bridge over the Brazos. Approximately 42 million drivers a year traverse the interstate through Waco past the Baylor campus and across the river. When frontage road bridges were added last year, the community took the opportunity to add some flair to what could have otherwise been another boring road; the bridges’ art deco look complements a hybrid design that mixes traditional girder and suspension bridges, throwing a nod toward Waco’s history.
This summer, the new bridges got another bonus: a programmable LED lighting system, debuted during a city ceremony earlier this month. The 200 lighting fixtures and 800 lights can be turned any color and even varied in intensity, allowing for a dazzling show (mindful, of course, of possibly distracting drivers). So the lights can be turned green and gold to celebrate a Baylor game day, or other colors to celebrate holidays and other community activities.
This time-lapse video from the dedication ceremony gives a glimpse of just what the lights can do:
Sic ’em, Waco!