On Tuesday February 22, 2022, the historic Texas Street Bridge, which links Bossier City to Shreveport, was brought back into the light with a special lighting ceremony held in Shreveport.
The lighting ceremony for the Texas Street Bridge, now known as the ‘Bakowski Bridge of Lights’, was attended by local government officials and project sponsors, as well as many residents of the Bossier City and Shreveport communities.
As previously reported by the Bossier Press Tribune in January of 2021:
“At the Tuesday, January 5, 2021 Bossier City Council meeting, the council approved the proposed agreement between the Red River Waterway District, the City of Bossier City and the City of Shreveport for installation of a programmable LED lighting system on the Texas Street Bridge. The programmable LED lighting installation is expected to serve as a beacon for events, venues and attractions.
“We’re looking at this as an economic development engine that can help spark some energy into both the downtown area in Shreveport and the Louisiana Boardwalk area in Bossier City,” said Pam Glorioso, Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer.
Terms of the agreement:
The City of Bossier City and/or Shreveport will be responsible for other costs and expenses associated with the project to include but not limited to the design, development, construction not associated with the installation of the lights, operation, maintenance, security, repair, and replacement of all aspects of the project for 20 years in a manner satisfactory to the Red River Waterway District.
Per the agreement, if Shreveport and/or Bossier City fail to operate, maintain, secure, repair, or replace the project for a period of 20 years from the date of substantial completion of the project, the parties will, at the request of the Red River Waterway District, reimburse the Red River Waterway Commission for all funds expended by the Waterway Commission on the project as follows:
—Shreveport shall reimburse the Red River Waterway Commission 50% of all funds expended by the Waterway Commission on the project up to a maximum of $500,000 after deducting $25,000 for each consecutive 12-month period of full and uninterrupted operation.
—Bossier City shall reimburse the Red River Waterway Commission 50% of all funds expended by the Waterway Commission on the project up to a maximum of $500,000 after deducting $25,000 for each consecutive 12-month period of full and uninterrupted operation.
Funding for the Project:
On Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, the Red River Waterway Commission approved a $1 million allocation to install LED lights on the Texas Street Bridge.
That vote opened the doors to the announcement of the anonymous donors who conceived the idea to relight the bridge in LED lights, Dr. George and Sandra Bakowski.
The Bakowskis pledged $1 million to Mayor Adrian Perkins to purchase the LED lighting system, with the understanding that they would select the lighting vendor, the world’s largest bridge lighting and architectural LED lighting company, SIGNIFY. This announcement could not be made, however, until funds were raised to pay for installation and programming.