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Downtown dam ready to light up the night PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:56

Trial run provides colorful preview of Bridge Street landmark as it will appear in privately funded arts project

Visitors to Grafton’s Bridge Street dam saw the downtown landmark in a whole new light Monday night.

A small group of spectators, including several village officials, looked on as water cascading over the dam on the Milwaukee River was illuminated by a sequence of red, blue and other colors.

The shimmering hues came from LED lights mounted under the deck of the Bridge Street bridge as part of a privately funded community arts project that was given a trial run.

A computerized timing system changed the color each minute, a process village officials deemed a success.

“It worked very well. Everyone was pleased,” Village Engineer Dave Murphy said.

Although only four lights were tested during the mock-up, the full sequence will have 10 lights, Murphy said. Plans call for the lighting system to be installed by the end of this week and be available for nightly use once the Public Arts Board determines a starting date and schedule.

The board organized the project and raised nearly $38,000 in private funds to cover the project cost. Village Administrator Darrell Hofland said the board is expected to schedule a grand unveiling night for the start of the project at its next meeting.

Steiner Electric is installing the lights, which will be operated through a computer program in the housing unit of the dam gate, Hofland said.

The bridge, which provides a spectator-friendly viewing area for the light show, also has a newly installed LED rope light, providing a thin white line across the edge of the deck.

Spectators have another public vantage point from an overlook area on the west side of the dam.

Murphy said the lights will illuminate the waterfall each night, with different colors and sequences used for holidays and special occasions, such as green for St. Patrick’s Day and red and green for Christmas.

 
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