Decorative lights proposed for High Level Bridge

A proposal to put decorative lighting on the High Level Bridge is going before council's executive committee on Monday.
The proposal to install a light package on the bridge, which will be 100 years old in June, was debated by executive council Monday. (Supplied: ATB Financial)

The city has asked EPCOR to come up with a potential design for decorative lighting on the High Level Bridge.

Council's executive committee considered the proposal Monday afternoon.

The cost of the project isn't known but a report prepared by city administration shows costs for similar projects range from $400,000 to $2 million.

Mayor Stephen Mandel says he supports the idea of lighting the bridge.

"I just got back from China and all their buildings are lit. All their bridges are lit and it's beautiful. You feel like you're in a vibrant, exciting atmosphere," he said.

"Our High Level Bridge is a really gorgeous bridge that could be really amplified by a lighting package that could show it off in a spectacular way."

Mandel says the high-end estimate of $2 million for the project is "an unreasonable number" and is confident ECPOR's design will cost must less.

It cost $370,000 to install decorative lighting on Calgary's Langevin Bridge in 2009. 

That same year, LED lights were installed on the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York at a cost of $1.2 million.

Dave Mowat, the CEO of ATB Financial, made the suggestion last fall. He says its an idea that's been floating around for years.

"LEDs don't create the light pollution that we would have perhaps seen in the past," he said. "The operating costs are extremely low with LEDs so I think it's all that coming together to make it a good idea right now."

Mowat believes that a grassroots fundraiser and contributions from the business community could help raise money for the project.

EPCOR has already agreed to contribute between $200,000 and $225,000.

The bridge will be 100 years old in June.