Holiday hue change for US 281 bridge lights could be on the horizon


The lights that brighten the U.S. 281 bridge in Marble Falls might one day be able to change colors to celebrate holidays and special events.

The Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. authorized engineering services company Stantec to begin preliminary designs for lighting improvements on the bridge that would give the city the ability to change light colors. EDC directors approved spending up to $34,509 toward the design portion of the project during a special meeting Wednesday, Jan. 26.

“This is simply a design process so you can get an idea of what this would look like without committing to actual construction,” explained EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher during the meeting.

Costs associated with the design phase will come out of the EDC’s recent sales tax revenue bond sale, which has $300,000 earmarked for lighting improvements along the bridge. The $34,509 will cover design development, construction documents, and administration.

During the design process, engineers will evaluate options such as switching out the existing lighting features, which currently only shine white light, or installing a completely new lighting system along the bridge, Fletcher said.

“In either case, (the Lower Colorado River Authority) has requested that the spotlights on the pillars on the bottom of the bridge stay white light,” he said. “They don’t want that to change.”

Board members authorized entering this phase of the project as a change order to an existing professional services agreement for the next steps of Lakeside Park Phase 1B improvements, which was approved by the board in September 2021.

Also during the meeting, EDC directors further discussed potential design options for the old power house structure located on the east side of Lake Marble Falls just below Chili’s.