Original lights back on bridge

By AMY WHITFIELD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Each night as the sun goes down the lights on the Capital Avenue bridge flicker on, and a community effort to shine a light on Frankfort's history comes to fruition.

The path to the Capitol can now be viewed from the U.S. 60 bridge as it was in 1937 when the bridge opened, thanks to the restoration of light fixtures and original luminaries.

The lighting restoration project, which was completed in early January, included four restored original bronze luminaries to the bridge's corners, as well as installation of six replicas of original streetlights, three on each side of the bridge.

"It really beautifies the approach to the Capitol," said Jill Midkiff, director of communications for the Finance and Administration Cabinet, whose Division of Historic Properties helped oversee the project.

Midkiff noted this bridge lighting project complements the efforts of downtown Frankfort to restore historic lighting to the city.

David N. Clinkenbeard, acting director of the Division of Historic Properties, said the lighting project was a remarkable collaboration between city, county and state entities as well as the community.

"This project was truly a community project," Clinkenbeard said Monday in his office at Berry Hill Mansion. "It such a wonderful opportunity to have so many different state and private entities to come together for the betterment of the community. We brought the bridge back to its original state. It's one of those projects that makes you feel good."

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