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Cross the Hudson – and the spectrum

Photo: Jeffrey Friedkin

Whether you call it the Tappan Zee or the Governor Mario M. Cuomo bridge, the busy cable-stayed connection across the Hudson between Tarryville and Nyak remains one of the most beloved and famous features of river towns.

And this pleasure is enhanced by the lights that illuminate the bridge each night, sometimes on a planned schedule, at other times surprising us with recognitions of important causes or moments, and beautiful color combinations.

So, who decides on the lighting of the bridge?

It turns out that the New York State Thruway Authority Media Relations and Communications Office coordinates lighting requests with its executive staff, often working with other state landmarks for a consistent statewide approach to honoring holidays and occasions.

Photo: Darren McGee-Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Architectural features of the double bay walkway are illuminated using energy efficient LED fixtures and the bridge is usually lit in white. On some nights, however, the colors are used to commemorate significant causes or times. Major holiday lights are pre-programmed, as readers can view by clicking the website links below. The calendar is quite comprehensive and diverse in many ways. The first days of each season are marked, as are, for example, President Lincoln’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Pearl Harbor Memorial Day.

Photo: Jonathan Kamensky

Other insights are the result of special requests from nonprofits, community organizations, municipalities, and school districts. There are times when the bridge uses its lights in conjunction with landmarks across New York State as announced by the Governor’s office. The website offers a public request application with guidelines, including space for color preferences, both eastbound and westbound. The AMF requires 60 days notice for any request.

Given the specific geographic location of the bridge itself, priority is given when considering lighting to support causes important to the “D-Day communities” and the Hudson Valley in general. . For example, the bridge is illuminated in red and white for the sleepy hollow and the Nyack High School graduation (scheduled for June 23 this year). On September 24, it should glow green and white when Irvington turns 150e anniversary. Over the years, the bridge has also supported a number of non-profit organizations in Westchester and Rockland. In April and May alone, he lit up in support of Volunteer New York!, NAMI Westchester and Make a Wish Hudson Valley.

Photo: Andrea Saposnik

Other recent memorable choices include lighting blue for healthcare workers at the start of the pandemic, solidarity with Ukraine by lighting up in the colors of its flag (blue and yellow) in February and March, and the annual illuminations for the LGBTQ+ and transgender communities.

“In just a few years, the nighttime lighting of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has become a Hudson Valley tradition,” said Khurram Said, the public information officer for the Thruway Authority. “Its aesthetic lights illuminate the architectural features of the span and, on occasion, mark notable or impactful moments by bathing the twin three-mile span in color. important causes.