Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Announces Relighting Of East River Bridges "necklace Lights"

October 31, 2003

Private Donors Contribute $160,000 to Fund Lighting for Two Years

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the Necklace Lights on the City’s Four East River Bridges would be relit thanks to the generosity of four New York businesses. The River Café, Travelex, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, and the International Gemological Institute have generously agreed to each donate $20,000 a year for the next two years to restore the necklace lights on New York City’s four East River Bridges (Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan and Queensboro).  The donation were made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which will reimburse the Department of Transportation for the approximately $75,000 a year in operating costs.  The announcement was made on the Mayor’s Radio Show, Live From City Hall with Mayor Mike and John Gambling on WABC.

“These four firms represent the best of New York’s Business Community,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “The necklace lights on our bridges illuminate the East River and because of these outstanding corporate citizens, New Yorkers will once again be able to enjoy the sparkling lights that grace the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Queensboro Bridges.”

The East River Bridge necklace lights use 100-Watt Mercury Vapor bulbs. There are 160 bulbs on the Brooklyn Bridge, 304 on the Manhattan Bridge, 224 on the Williamsburg Bridge and 218 on the Queensboro Bridge. The lights were installed in the early 1970s and can be seen from more than 25 miles away.  The necklace lights will be lit on Wednesday, November 5th.

“These four magnificent crossings are by far the most prominent stars in our huge constellation of bridges,” said Iris Weinshall, Commissioner of the City's Transportation Department. “We've always thought of the necklace lights as more than just the icing on the cake. That's why I can't thank the sponsors enough for their generosity and understanding of how much the lights mean to the City.”

“New York's necklace lights illuminate the city and the spirit of the people here,” said Jerry Ehrenwald, President and CEO of the International Gemological Institute.  “Relighting the bridges is the International Gemological Institute’s way of helping the city sparkle.”

“We are proud to mark our 150th year in Lower Manhattan by helping to keep New York City’s East River Bridges lit,” said Steven Glusband member of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP’s Executive Committee.

“Travelex appreciates the opportunity to support the Mayor's Fund in this effort,” said Anthony Horne, President, Travelex Americas  “As a member of the Lower Manhattan business community for almost 30 years, Travelex is pleased and proud to play its part in keeping the lights of the East River bridges burning brightly.  Even in challenging fiscal times, it's important that these historic landmarks continue to welcome visitors to New York.”

“Once again The River Café’s guests from around the world, as well as all New Yorkers and our millions of visitors, can see the most popular view in America in full dress, adorned with it’s beautiful necklace of lights,” said Michael “Buzz” O’Keeffe of the River Café. “The Brooklyn Bridge, the jewel of New York, now has its magic back.”

The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City raises money to promote the general welfare of the City’s residents and aid civic improvements. The Fund supports the work of many City Agencies including Education, Parks, Health, Transportation and Cultural Affairs, and raises funds for many quality of life initiatives. Donations to the Mayor’s Fund can be made by calling 311.

Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz

(212) 788-2958