Acosta Bridge over the St. Johns River at night – Courtesy: Shutterstock – ESB Professional
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will once again light up the Acosta Bridge Wednesday night after being told its rainbow color scheme was “out of compliance” by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Despite plans from the city to light up the Acosta Bridge, which connects downtown Jacksonville’s Southbank and Northbank in rainbow colors for Pride Month, FDOT temporarily shut down the lighting pattern Tuesday night because the color scheme had not been submitted and approved “in accordance with bridge lighting policy.”
According to a statement from the agency’s communications director Beth Frady, JTA is allowed to resume rainbow lights for the planned period of time during Pride Month “as it is obviously a matter of broad community interest.”
The Acosta Bridge, which is famous for its standard blue LED lighting a night, has a scheduled lighting scheme that is created every month by the JTA to recognize special holidays, observances, awareness campaigns, and other events.
For the month of June, the JTA reserved the following weeks for specific events and paired them with corresponding colors:
|June 7-13||Pride Month||Rainbow|
|June 18||Sickle Cell Awareness||Red|
|June 19||Juneteenth||Red, Black, and Green|
|June 20-24||PTSD Awareness Month||Teal|
|June 25-27||100th Anniversary of Acosta Bridge Opening||Yellow and Blue|
However, considering the first scheduled week was reserved for Pride Month, the initial decision made by FDOT is being questioned by many in the community as a possibly targeted takedown.
News4Jax was notified by a spokesperson from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office that the lights will return tonight at 6:30 p.m. and remain on for the scheduled period of time.
The spokesperson also said the governor’s office had nothing to do with the initial decision to shut down the lights the day before.
Last week the governor signed a bill banning transgender females from competing in girls’ sports programs on the first day of the celebratory month.
This is not the first time a color scheme is not listed as approved for the JTA; however, the other color schemes were not taken down.
Coincidentally, the FDOT rejected a similar request from Sarasota to light the Ringling Causeway Bridge with rainbow lights, according to information in a story written by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Per News4Jax, a protest is still planned to happen near the bridge on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.