ALTON – The recent testing of new colorful lights on the Clark Bridge has garnered enthusiastic support from local officials and school administrators, promising a vibrant addition to Alton's riverfront.

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On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, Alton Mayor David Goins, most of the Alton aldermen and alderwomen, Alton Superintendent Kristie Baumgartner, and Marquette Catholic Principal Tim Harmon were present to witness the illumination. The testing featured the respective school colors: Redbird red for Alton High and blue for Marquette Catholic.

Mayor Goins expressed his approval, describing the change as "very positive" for the community.

"It will definitely be great for the riverfront and the community as a whole," Goins said. He highlighted plans to celebrate graduations and homecoming dates with the school colors, as well as Alton's significant Halloween festivities. "I am absolutely excited," he added. "The bridge is just a gorgeous bridge and the lights will just enhance it more."

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Baumgartner shared her enthusiasm, noting the impact of Alton High’s red lights, while Harmon praised the blue lights representing Marquette Catholic.

"The new lights on the Clark Bridge are an exciting and beautiful addition to the Alton skyline," Harmon said. "The City Council’s intention to celebrate both local high schools with their respective colors on homecoming and graduations will be a nice annual gesture toward the people of both institutions, past and present, and is very much appreciated."

Alderman Strebel, a key proponent of the project, emphasized the communal aspect of the initiative. "The illumination of the Clark Bridge in their school colors is a visual testament to their achievements and our collective pride in them," he said, assuring that no fee would be charged to either school for the service.

The lighting plan extends beyond school celebrations, including federal holidays and special considerations during the bird migration season, significant to the Mississippi River area. The initiative, originally proposed by the Alton Public Works Department, received strong support from Strebel and Cory Jobe, president and CEO of Great Rivers & Routes.

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