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'Agua Luces' project to shine lights on Tampa bridges for RNC

By Josh Poltilove
Published: August 8, 2012 Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Five Tampa bridges are about to become works of art.On Friday, Chicago artist Tracey Dear's "Agua Luces" project will illuminate the undersides of the downtown bridges.The permanent installations designed to beautify the spans was completed weeks before the Aug. 27-30 Republican National Convention comes to Tampa.The affected bridges over the Hillsborough River are along Kennedy Boulevard, Brorein Street, CSX railroad tracks and Platt Street, as well as the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway's bridge crossing the river. Tampa officials eventually hope to light the remainder of the city's major bridges.The city tested "Agua Luces" on Wednesday night, but Mayor Bob Buckhorn officially will light the downtown bridges shortly after 8:15 p.m. Friday at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park."Celebrating the Hillsborough River and our historic bridges is an opportunity to showcase downtown's best assets," Buckhorn stated in a release.A free screening of "The Wizard of Oz" will be shown at the park shortly after the lighting ceremony.Dear's project – "Water Lights" in Spanish – lingered for six years before Tampa Electric Co. agreed to shoulder most of the cost. In January, Buckhorn unveiled plans for the project, an extension of the "Lights on Tampa" program.For more information, visit