The Big Easy will become more colorful later this year. A famed New Orleans bridge is slated to receive a new $21-million, 1,600-LED lighting system by the end of 2024, just months before the city hosts Super Bowl LVIII.

After three decades of The Crescent City Connection bridge's exposure to the elements and the winds of Hurricane Ida in 2021, the lighting system was left damaged and partially out of service. Through a funding partnership between the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans, the project commenced earlier this year.

In an attempt to spruce up the Big Easy before tens of thousands of tourists flock to the city and hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide watch the Super Bowl, major infrastructure projects are underway. The bridge is an entryway into the New Orleans business district. Each day an estimated 180,000 vehicles traverse the bridge.

"The new lighting system will provide the ability to change the lights' colors and display themes," said Scott Boyle, District 2 engineer administrator for the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development. “The repair costs far outweighed the costs associated with a new system,” he said, adding the original lighting system was “nearly inoperable.”

State and local officials determined a new system would be more cost-effective, and Frischhertz Electric Co., Inc. was awarded the contract. Along with the top chord and deck, the bridge’s frame elements of the truss will be equipped with new lights powered by an entirely new electrical system, including new panels and fixtures. New wiring will be outfitted in a weather-resistant flexible sheathing expected to extend the system's life.

Frischhertz Electric Co., Inc. installed the bridge's original lighting system in 1987. Due to damaging ultraviolet rays, high winds, and years of inclement weather, the original decorative lighting system began to deteriorate, leaving wires exposed to the elements and falling victim to power surges.