Greater City Providence

IWay Bridge Lighting


This week we saw hints of what the completed IWay bridge lighting will look like. This doesn’t appear to be the complete picture, since, in this shot, the tower structures are not lit, and if you look carefully, you’ll notice that only the northern half of the bridge has its decorative lighting turned on.

I think the lighting looks great, but WOW is it bright! You could see the beams of light in the sky above the bridge for some distance. I can only imagine the wash of light that will be cast when both sides are lit.

It certainly will be quite a beacon. When there is a festivity and they setup search lights to aim at the sky, it does create a sense of “OOh, whats going on over there?”. When this thing goes full intensity, I think it may create that same sense of wonder and draw.

Matthew Coolidge

Matthew Coolidge is co-founder of Greater City Providence. In addition to the occasional blog post about cycling, sailing, or urban rant, he works as an Electrical Engineer, often traveling to major cities and ports around the globe, or simply Warwick.


  • I was disappointed to see the IWay bridge lighting was off last night… Was the initial lighting just a trial run?

  • Good question, Bret. I forwarded the question to DOT to see if I could get some answers, here was the response:

    “At this time I do not have a timetable for when the bridge will be lit on a regular basis. Yes, the recent lightings have been test runs to “burn in” the lamps. Additional electrical work remains on the south side of the bridge and decorative pylons. As we head into winter, adverse weather becomes a major factor in the progress of work in the field.”

  • I find it deeply troubling that no one in our cash-strapped state is at all concerned about the monumental waste of energy this is. I can read a newspaper on my front step by the glow in the clouds from 5 miles away.

  • Yeah… that bridge is an environmental nightmare. The bridge is lit up by horizontal floodlights that leave a big white stain on the clouds that can be seen from my house (in the East Providence/Seekonk line). I have to say it looks cool, but the light pollution given off by it probably will confuse a big swath of Canadian Geese (though maybe that isn’t such a bad thing, they might actually go away.)

Providence, RI
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