COLUMBIA — After more than two years of planning, the first of three "light hubs" was installed Thursday morning across Fourth Street near Flat Branch Park.
The hubs are part of the Downtown Community Improvement District's Gateways Project to create a series of visual cues that welcome visitors to downtown. Installing the three strings of globes across downtown streets is the first phase of the project.
They feature a center-illuminated globe 3 feet in diameter and two smaller globes on either side that hang 16 feet above the street on cables. Each light hub cost around $50,000, according to previous Missourian reporting.
The light hubs are meant to reflect the character of their location. Argentine-American artist Cecilia Lueza designed the light hub installed Thursday.
She has described it as a colorful design that represents the seasons, from light green for spring to deep red for fall. Lueza created two of the fixtures, and Columbia artist Adam McMillen designed the third.
The two remaining light hubs will be installed next week, weather permitting.
Sidewalks will be closed and traffic lanes will be restricted Tuesday and Wednesday on Tenth Street between Ash and Walnut streets while crews from Grove Construction install the second light hub.
Sidewalks and traffic lanes will also be closed Jan. 5-6 on Walnut Street between Fifth and Sixth streets while the third light hub is installed, according to news releases from the city.
The project will create four gateways to welcome visitors to downtown Columbia. The project will also incorporate public art, signage and "pedestrian friendly infrastructure," according to The Gateways Project master plan.
Supervising editor is Tyler Wornell.