January 19, 2012 - Mayor Bob Buckhorn unveiled the plans for "Agua Luces" ("Water Lights" in Spanish), a new, permanent art installation and an extension of the "Lights on Tampa” program. This program will bring to fruition a long-term vision held by many.
"The Hillsborough River and our historic bridges are two of Tampa's treasured assets, which is why we have invested in opening the river to the people. 'Agua Luces' will draw attention to these assets, highlight their beauty, and stimulate economic activity throughout downtown," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
The four bridges that will be lit as part of the project are: Platt Street Bridge, Brorein Street Bridge, Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, and CSX Railroad Bridge or Cass Street Bridge (depending on structure constraints).
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.
Tampa Electric is the founding sponsor of the "Agua Luces" project. "We are proud to support this innovative project," said Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and TECO Peoples Gas. "Given Tampa Electric's 100-plus year history of providing lighting, power and natural gas to this city, we feel this is a fantastic way to participate in the city's preparations for the Republican National Convention."
The installation will start in early summer 2012, and completion of the four bridges is expected midsummer. 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 eight bridges, as well as the Selmon Expressway, which intersects with the Tampa Riverwalk, is a fundamental vision for the City of Tampa.
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