Historic Design and Review Commission approves new plan for holiday lights on bridges

New plan puts 80 percent fewer holes in bridges

Author: Jenna Hiller, Reporter, jhiller@ksat.com
Published On: Jul 06 2012 04:23:43 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 06 2012 04:48:09 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

On Friday, the Historic Design and Review Commission approved a plan to put up holiday lights on 18 bridges downtown.

Last year, lights were installed on the bridges using wire rope because the commission didn't want lights screwed directly into the bridges.

"What was different from the earlier presentation was, I think, a much more effective and thoughtful way of attaching to these historic bridges," Scott Carpenter, vice chair of the HDRC, said.

This year, metal tubing will be attached to the bridges every 12 feet, then the lights will be attached to the tubing -- not directly to the bridges.

The plan reduces the number of punctures by 80 percent, putting 8 to 10 holes in each bridge instead of 40 to 50.

The approved plan also requires a sealant system to keep moisture out of the bridges and an annual inspection by a structural engineer when the lights are removed.

"They could ensure over time that there isn't some kind of deterioration as a result of the attachments," Carpenter said.

The commission wants the extra protection because 16 of the 18 bridges qualify to be on the national register.