PEORIA -- A group of young professionals want the Murray Baker Bridge to shine at night again.
“Light It Up” wants to re-light the I-74 bridge. The bridge fell dark in 2012 after the lights originally installed in 1991 burned out.
Light It Up team leader Ashley Schreck said illuminating the bridge will improve the quality of life in Central Illinois.
“Our bridge, the Murray Baker Bridge, in fact, is really right through the heart of our region. It’s the connector between our area, and so, lighting this project will help it stand out in the night sky," she said.
Schreck says the group wants to install new, multi-colored lights when the bridge is shut down for major work for several months starting in April 2020.
She says re-lighting the bridge could take as much as $1 million, but the group is also open to more limited options as funds allow, such as only lighting the piers. Light It Up is taking donations and applying for grants to achieve its goals.
The bridge is slated to be completely closed from April through November 2020 for a major resurfacing project to bring it up to current roadway standards.
Schreck said she thinks restoring the bridge lighting during the construction will help make the headache the closure will make things a litle less painful when it's all over. for the commuters who travel across the bridge daily.
“It’s resurfacing a road. It’s not really a sexy project," she said. "So, if we can light the bridge up afterwards, we’re hoping that people will go ‘Man, that was so worth it. That was worth that ten, twenty minutes out of my day every day to have something like that for our region. It’s pretty cool.’”
Light It Up is part of the 1000 Pounds Project created by state Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) to help grow young leaders and give back to the community.