Florida Department of Transportation chooses patriotic colors for lighting bridges this summer

According to a recent post by Secretary Jared W. Perdue of the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida’s bridges will be illuminated in red, white, and blue colors from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This initiative is a part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ 2024 Florida Freedom Summer.

Governor DeSantis expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative, stating that it will kick off the summer season in the best possible way. He announced that Florida families will have the opportunity to enjoy state parks without any admission fees during Memorial Day Weekend. Additionally, the sales tax on recreational items will be waived, allowing people to make the most of their leisure activities.

According to the City of Sarasota, the light displays on all bridges maintained by FDOT, including the Ringling Bridge, will be controlled by FDOT itself, as per the city’s explanation.

In a matter of weeks, the Ringling Bridge had plans to illuminate in a vibrant shade of orange to honor National Gun Violence Awareness Month. This meaningful gesture was scheduled to take place from June 8 to 10.

According to Carol Rescigno, the President of Brady Sarasota, a significant majority of Americans, 80 percent to be exact, are in favor of implementing stricter gun laws and have concerns regarding safety. She also mentioned that various organizations have illuminated the bridge on different occasions and for different purposes.

According to Rescigno, illuminating a bridge may not directly save a life, but it still holds significance.

“The main goal is to enhance safety and seize every opportunity to improve,” Rescigno emphasized.

The color scheme will also be followed by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

“We firmly believe that FDOT should have control over the lighting of the bridge. It is their bridge,” stated Mike Rahn, Chair of the Manatee County Commission.

Rescigno disagrees with Rahn.

“We don’t want to live with regret, realizing at the end of our lives that we made a mistake,” expressed Rescigno. “Using pride colors, GVP colors, and others would have been a symbolic gesture that wouldn’t have harmed anyone.”

The city has canceled the lighting for five different awareness events on the Ringling Bridge, including Pride Month and Women’s Equality Day. However, some events will not be affected, such as Juneteenth, which was originally planned to be red, white, and blue.

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MBS Staff
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