OC bridge illumination project starting soon

Staff writer

The first installation phase of the Center Street Bridge illumination project in Oil City is expected to be underway in the next eight weeks.

The Oil City Main Street Program is planning to install colored LED lights on the bridge to highlight its architectural features.

The $90,000 project is inspired by a similar undertaking by Saegertown in 2014.

Kathy Bailey, manager of the Oil City Main Street Program, said Thursday the project still has an $11,000 hole to cover all the expenses.

Currently, there is enough funding to cover the lights on the arches and uprights.

Until the $11,000 is gathered, the bottom base of flex lights will be put on hold.

No official start date has been determined, but Bailey said residents should start seeing work in the coming weeks.

Snyder Electric was awarded a $51,000 contract in December to install the LED lights, and Pittsburgh-based Vincent Lighting Systems is under contract to provide design specifications, in addition to conducting final inspection and training for the light’s operating system.

Oil Region Alliance project manager Kim Harris, who will be overseeing the day-to-day operations once work begins, previously said Snyder Electric likely won’t have to close any lanes of the bridge when the installation gets underway.

The Main Street Program and Bridge Builders Community Foundations have entered into a partnership to try to make up the remaining gap in funding.

The Community Foundation is waiving all administrative fees so that 100 percent of the donations go toward the project.

Anyone interested in donating can do so online at www.bbcf.org and specifying “Center Street Bridge Lighting.”

Checks can also be mailed to Bridge Builders Community Foundations, 206 Seneca St., Oil City, 16301.

Checks should also have a notation of “Center Street Bridge Lighting” in the memo line.

Anyone with questions about contributions can contact the Community Foundation at (814) 677-8687 or the Oil City Main Street Program at (814) 677-3152.

The Elizabeth S. Black Charitable Trust is already contributing $37,000, the Margery Himes Estate is responsible for $7,500 and the Elizabeth S. Black/Edith C. Justus Charitable Trusts amount for $33,500 of the project.

Other funding partners include the Oil Region Alliance, PennSoil RC&D Council, the law offices of McFate and Merkel and PNC Charitable Trusts.