In February of this year, the Texas Street Bridge glowed for the first time in a long time as the newly-named Bakowski Bridge of Lights. The colorful  lighting ushered in the latest era of the bridge, taking its place as only one of only a handful of programmable LED-lit bridges in the nation.

Photo of the Bakowski Bridge of Lights by Lisa Krause Richardson

Several colorful events and ‘Glo Fests’ have already been held and the Fourth of July festivities this week combining music, the bridge and fireworks were spectacular.

To kick off the activities, Dr. George and Sandra Bakowski removed the ceremonial visqueen (which the Shreveport Regional Arts Council had managed to expertly attach to the very core of the Earth), covering the plaques, making the plaques ‘official.’

Dr. George and Sandra trying to manhandle the visqueen!

Had it not been for the Bakowski family’s initial $1,000,000 donation, it is quite possible the bridge relighting would not have happened.

Finally, success!

With their generosity, the project gained momentum, becoming a true successful Public-Private partnership. Dr. Bakowski offered the donation in honor of his parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Poland to escape the ravages of Adolph Hitler and WWII.

In USA, they were able to find both freedom and a new life.

The second plaque honors the other individuals and agencies that donated funds to complete the project: the Red River Waterway Commission, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the Cities of Shreveport and Bossier City, the Downtown Development Authority and Will Atkins, who has long advocated for a relighting of the bridge. Bravo to all involved!

On the left, David Jones & Versa Clark representing the RRWC. On the right, Liz Swaine of the DDA, private donor Will Atkins, Kathy Malone, DDA board member, and Dr. George.

Stay tuned for many more events featuring the beautiful Bakowski Bridge of Lights!