Iconic "Trenton Makes Bridge" gets face lift

- Trenton used to make everything – and everybody used to take it.

Hey it’s Hank – I’m in Trenton – the lights are out on the Trenton Makes Bridge – they’re in the process of upgrading them – spending pretty good money to do it – but should they?   My take is – as always – it depends on who you ask.

The Trenton Makes Bridge sign has always been there for anyone who lived near Trenton or even passed through for nearly a hundred years. The red glow in the evening – you know where you are – and Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission spokesman Joe Donnelly says locals have fought any changes over the years.

“There would be full pages in the newspaper of letters to the editor decrying any effort to perhaps change that sign.”

Workers are in the finishing stages of a full upgrade on the sign, one that could run nearly 650 thousand dollars. It’ll have LED lights for the first time which use less energy and offer a variety of colors for the sign.

Donnelly says a couple of weeks of trials, a couple of weeks of training and the sign will be re-lit – hopefully sometime in January.   

“Unfortunately now – the name that’s on that bridge is not living up to what it once was…”

It’s true, what does Trenton Make anymore? Companies have folded or left for better deals. The sign is historic and a relevant reference to the Capitol City’s deep history. But at what price?

“The price is certainly worth it – this is a much better lighting system – gonna do a lot more with it – it’s much more energy efficient – the LED lights run at fifteen percent of the cost of incandescent – and when you consider neon lighting – it’s even more efficient than that,” said Donnelly.

Bottom line?   The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Authority is footing the bill – not Trenton – so it’s not like the city could spend the money elsewhere – it isn’t theirs.   

Listen – if you can get somebody else to give your city’s best-known landmark a facelift free of charge? That’s a win for a town that needs one. I’m Hank – and that’s my take.

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