On Thursday night, May 10, just as the sun was setting, something new and exciting lit up the formerly-dark and foreboding SR 167/Meeker Street underpass.

It was the switching on of a new, programmable, computer-controlled, energy-efficient, colored LED architectural lighting installation, as seen in our video below:

Co-hosted by the City of Kent and Kent Downtown Partnership, the evening began with a reception at Around the Clock, followed by the unveiling on the east side of the overpass just after 8:30 p.m.

The artistic light display is programmable and can be changed by the city to mark special events, holidays or even sports teams. It will be programmed to go on just after sunset, and will slowly change its colors in various programs overnight, before turning off around sunrise.

“With financial support and encouragement from KDP, the City has been working on this lighting project for the last several years, helping to create an attractive gateway to our City’s historic core. I’m excited to see it come to fruition to provide attractive lighting for safer walking, biking and driving,” said Mayor Dana Ralph. “Thank you to our Economic Development and Public Works teams for working so diligently to get this project completed.”

Barbara Smith, executive director for Kent Downtown Partnership, also commented on the installation of the overpass lighting:

“Our businesses and residents rose to the occasion, raising $24,000 to help fund this project. This is one of many gateways into downtown, and the lights will leave a lasting impression on people as they pass through,” said Smith. “A big thank you to our donors for their patience while the City jumped through hoops to make this happen. Also, many thanks to Bill Ellis of Economic Development for his tenacity and staying with the project.”

So next time you’re driving through this once-dark underpass, slow down a bit and enjoy the light show!

There were many donors to the lighting project, including Meridian Dental, Tarragon, Rotary Club of Kent, Kent Lions, BECU, Torklift Central, Sue and Steve Froyd, Suzanne and Larry Cameron, Dennis Higgins, Greg Haffner, Judy Woods, Mike Hanis, Randall and Chandra Smith, Rick Roland, and Lisa Vivian and Lee Eberle.

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...