KTRK: Artsy lights over SW Freeway bridges already in disrepair

Image credit: Pixabay

The bridges that cross Southwest Freeway do more than connect two parts of Houston.

They serve to beautify what is otherwise one UGLY stretch of concrete (and, quite often, graffiti and trash).

Unfortunately, one of the striking features of those bridges — the unique side-mounted fiber-optic lights that once could change colors — is striking at the moment because most of them haven’t been working for quite some time.

KTRK-13’s Christine Dobbyn has more details:

Karen Othon of TxDOT says the state is aware the lights are out and that some are even hanging from the bridge.

“It’s not the full picture. It’s not what they were intended to be,” said Othon.

She adds they have been a maintenance challenge.

“It’s not like we can just take a bucket truck up there on a freeway lane and replace a light bulb, it’s such a specialized issue,” said Othon.

The California company that made the lights claims a little maintenance every six months should keep them shining brightly. Any warranties on the lights have now expired.

Crews at the bridge on Wednesday said they were working on repairing peeling paint. TxDOT is not sure if the lights can be repaired or may now have to be replaced at taxpayers’ expense.

Earlier in the story, Dobbyn notes that the original price of the lights was $275,000 (as part of the overall $100 million reconstruction project).

It would be great if someone could figure out how to get the lights back to how they are supposed to look, or just pull the things down and be done with it. At the moment, it just looks awful.


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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX