The eighth anniversary of the second Narrows Bridge opening is approaching. Cross-Sound traffic was wondrously expedited, but one element was not completed.
A suspension bridge is an engineering masterpiece and an exquisitely beautiful structure. Examples include San Francisco's Golden Gate, New York's Verrazano-Narrows and the Tower Bridge in London. Towers are also engineering marvels: the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Seattle's Space Needle and the Washington obelisk in D.C.
All are illuminated at night and visible from great distances to memorialize their owners' pride and to provide additional safety and landmarks for air traffic.
The elegantly simple cables supporting the Narrows Bridge should also be lighted. "Overestimated cost" was an excuse for omitting illumination during construction. But the small cost now is worth the huge future benefits. Funding is available.
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The sources of electricity would be unique; it could be the only facility in the world utilizing four adjacent modes of hydro, solar, tidal and wind (three as useful research projects for sustainable energy). Washington corporations such as Boeing, Microsoft, Intel and Dell could be persuaded to be major donors. A 1 cent levy on tolls and real property within sight of the bridge could pay for the installation, maintenance and electrical costs.
Appropriate red, blue, green and white lights could be displayed on special days of Christmas, Independence Day, New Years and Election Day. Taxpayers could celebrate their iconic bridge every night; visitors would remember the stunning beauty of their travels in the South Sound.