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A bit of flare

Renewed Jerusalem Chords Bridge lights up to tune of $1 million

New LED lights on city symbol allow for the display of short clips and messages to locals and visitors entering the capital

The renovated Chords Bridge at Jerusalem's entrance lights up, September 17, 2020 (Jerusalem Municipality)
The renovated Chords Bridge at Jerusalem's entrance lights up, September 17, 2020 (Jerusalem Municipality)

The iconic Chords Bridge in Jerusalem has received a NIS 3.3 million ($950,000) makeover, with 14,400 new LED lightbulbs that hang on 58 of the bridge’s support cables.

The new light system, which allows for the display of short clips and messages to passersby, is the product of the Jerusalem municipality’s efforts over the past year to upgrade one of the city’s most notable landmarks.

The bridge had already sported a changeable light system prior to the new work, but it was deemed in need of an upgrade by city officials.

The Jewish New Year greeting “Shana Tova” was the first message on the newly renovated bridge, inaugurated Thursday by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.

“Tonight we rekindled the Chords Bridge, which in recent years has become one of the most unique symbols of the city of Jerusalem,” Lion said. “We will continue to promote, enhance and improve the appearance of the city for the benefit of all residents.”

Inaugurated in 2008, the bridge serves as an overpass for both the light rail and pedestrians crossing the busy intersection near the main entrance to Jerusalem.

Constructed of steel, concrete, stone and glass, it includes a futuristic pedestrian illuminated walkway. Despite its hefty weight at 4,200 tons, the bridge’s design by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava presents an image of loftiness that plays with the concept of the lightness of illumination.

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