ALTON, Ill. – A spectacular light show is coming to the Mississippi Riverfront, not in St. Louis, but in Alton, Illinois.

FOX 2 has learned the re-lighting of the Clark Bridge is just about ready to go.

It’s been about eight months since we first told you about the nearly $1 million lighting project.

Though the switch has yet to be flipped, drivers may notice changes while crossing the bridge. The pair of lights at the base of each of the 44 cables that connect to the bridge deck on both sides are new LED lights, replacing the original single-beam lights. Only one of those original 176 lights was still working when the project began.

“Wait until this bridge comes alive,” Alton Alderman Ray Strebel said.

The bridge has seemed dead at night for more than a decade, the only lights being streetlights shining down on the roadway and nothing shining up on those signature cables.

There is already a resolution before the Alton City Council designating six dates for special lighting configurations, including Halloween and the Fourth of July, along with an IDOT permit requiring lighting restrictions during peak bird migrations along the Mississippi River.

“We’ve reached out to IDOT to get permission to turn the lights on to stress test it. We’re all ready to go,” Strebel said.

The St. Louis Lighting Group has nearly completed the project, using the same lighting manufacturer that you see at the City Park Soccer Stadium in Downtown St. Louis, even Mount Rushmore and Niagara Falls.

It was 1994 when this unique river city got the spectacular, new Clark Bridge befitting its history and character. In a way, the lighting project is like getting a new bridge all over again, with a test run likely within the next three weeks and full operation of the remote and wirelessly controlled system by the end of next month.

“The deadline’s always been the Fourth of July. I’m still being told we’re going to be good by that date. I don’t tell anyone any sooner than that,” Strebel said. “I do feel comfortable that it will be operational way before then. It is a super bridge. It was a one-of-a-kind when it was built. It needs to be showcased.”

Federal ARPA and state tourism dollars, not the city’s general revenue fund, are covering the cost.