Editorial: Blue lights add to Ironton

Published 2:42 pm Sunday, August 13, 2017

The people of Ironton recently got a nice surprise when darkness fell and the new Oakley C. Collins Memorial Bridge lit up in blue lights.

It was always part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s plans to light up the bridge that connects Ohio and Kentucky. After all, it’s necessary for not only drivers to be able to see as they drive across the bridge but needed so the boats on the river don’t run into and planes that are flying over the Ohio River don’t collide with it.

But the original plan in 2015 was for more mundane white lights.

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People from groups like Ironton aLive and the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as Ironton mayors, tried to get lights that would be more interesting and colorful. They even brought the issue up with Ohio’s legislators. But the plan was shot down because it could have added up to $500,000 to a project that already cost millions.

But time changes all things, including the price of the high-powered LED lights that are used to light up bridges.

Over the past couple of years, the cost of LED lights dropped and became affordable enough to light up the bridge without breaking ODOT’s budget.

We commend ODOT for being fiscally responsible but still being flexible enough to change their minds on something like the color of lights on a bridge.

The blue lights add a new element to the Ironton skyline that all can enjoy.