Led by Mayor Buckhorn, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, and the Lights On Tampa Committee, Lights On Tampa: Agua Luces is an initiative to permanently light nine landmark bridges in downtown Tampa. To-date, five of the nine bridges, have been light by lighting artist, Tracey Dear. The bridges are: Platt Street Bridge, Brorein Street Bridge, Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority overpass, Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, and the CSX Railroad Bridge. For more information on Tracey Dear and his approach to Agua Luces, click here. The lighting is a permanent addition to the downtown.
There are specific vistas along the Tampa Riverwalk (listed below) which are vantage points for viewing the five different bridges. Parts of the Riverwalk take you under the bridges for an up-close and personal experience with the lights. This map (PDF) indicates the various points to experience the bridge lighting. For additional information and frequently asked questions, visit the FAQs section of this site.
Photo by Ben Dickmann
The City of Tampa hopes that with continued private sector support Agua Luces will be extended to the remaining bridges in downtown by 2014. Lighting all nine bridges, as well as the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway which intersects with the Tampa Riverwalk, is a fundamental vision for the City of Tampa.
Chicago-based lighting artist Tracey Dear, who lit the bridges in Chicago as well as the Wrigley Building, was chosen for the installation. The Public Art Program and the Lights On Tampa Committee selected Tracey Dear through a juried process for Lights On Tampa 2006 but the project was not realized.
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Lights On Tampa is a public/private partnership between the City of Tampa’s Art Programs Division and the Public Art Alliance, a 501(c)3 organization. The Program began in 2006 with the desire to bring something bold, of high quality and “on the moment” to Tampa. The objective was to literally put the spotlight on Tampa and its regional assets. The Program returned in 2009 when Tampa hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl XLIII. In 2010, the Program was recognized as one of the 50 most significant art programs in the U.S. in the last 50 years (Americans for the Arts).