PHILLIPSBURG – The new programmable color-changing LED architectural light system on the Northampton Street Toll-Supported Bridge (known locally as the Easton-Phillipsburg “free bridge”) is set to illuminate the annual Thanksgiving Day game between the Easton Area High School and Phillipsburg High School football teams.
Tomorrow night, Thanksgiving Eve, the bridge lights will display Easton’s red-and-white colors on the Pennsylvania side and Phillipsburg’s garnet-and-grey colors on the New Jersey side. Full disclosure: the differences between the lighting schemes might be incremental to some observers, but they are truly different in the light system’s programming.
Wednesday evening’s display is scheduled to run from roughly sunset to 11 p.m., at which time the bridge lights will revert to their default white setting.
The annual football game will determine which team’s colors will be displayed during the ensuing Thanksgiving Day weekend – Thursday night to Sunday night. Call it the “Battle of the Bridge” or the “Fight for the Lights.”
The plan is for the bridge to be fully aglow Thanksgiving night with the colors of the football team that wins that day’s contest. The display would be continued Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Again, the special show is schedule to run from sunset to 11 p.m. The Commission intends the Thanksgiving lighting plan to be an annual event. This year’s game will be the 116th Thanksgiving Day Game between the two schools.
The Northampton Street Bridge is the first river crossing in the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission’s 20-bridge system to be completely outfitted with LED lights. The programmable system highlight’s the structure’s unique profile along the riverfronts of Easton and Phillipsburg.
The Commission has established a specific webpage for the bridge lights: https://www.drjtbc.org/bridge-info/northampton-street-bridge-lighting. The webpage contains a basic overview about the lighting system and the bridge, the Commission’s policy for requesting lighting shows, requirements for making lighting requests, and an online lighting request form that organizations may use to request lighting displays. Other information includes the annual schedule of pre-programmed lighting displays.
The architectural lighting system was installed as part of a roughly two-year-long rehabilitation of the bridge. The newly rehabilitated bridge was formally rededicated with a ceremonial illumination of the new lighting system earlier this month. World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes of Easton led the countdown to the bridge’s inaugural lighting.