New LED display to light up Hernando De Soto Bridge

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Hernando DeSoto Bridge

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The nonprofit that illuminated the old Harahan Bridge with multicolored LED light displays in 2016 plans on bringing more color to another bridge in downtown Memphis.

Installation on the Mighty Lights display on the Hernando De Soto Bridge will begin in early June, Memphis Bridge Lighting Inc. says.

When it’s finished, the lights on Big River Crossing on downtown’s south end will coordinate with the new lights on the Hernando De Soto Bridge on the north end of downtown.

The new display will be unveiled Oct. 27, about two months before Memphis begins celebrating its bicentennial.

“This free and one-of-a-kind attraction is for all of Memphis,” said George Monger, Memphis Bridge Lighting, Inc. board member. “It is our goal that this new nightly experience will help to positively define the future of Memphis on a local, national and global scale.”

Since its installation in 2016, the lighting design on Big River Crossing has received international recognition.

The iconic “M” of the Hernando De Soto Bridge, also known as Interstate 40, has been illuminated since a grassroots local effort installed decorative bulbs in 1986. That lighting infrastructure now needs to be replaced.

During installation, two westbound lanes of the bridge will be closed Mondays through Saturdays, 6 p.m.-6 a.m., from June 4-July 14. Two eastbound lanes will be closed July 16-Aug. 25.

The $14 million cost for Mighty Lights is entirely privately funded, the group says. So far, $12.5 million has been raised. Interested donors may learn more at mightylights.com.

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