Mass. Officials Turn Out the Lights on the Zakim Bridge

Fri April 24, 2009 - Northeast Edition

BOSTON (AP) It’s lights out for Boston’s Zakim Bridge, the latest effort to save money at the debt-ridden Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.

Jennifer Flagg, chief administrative officer of the turnpike, said the authority can save about $5,000 a month by turning off the bridge’s decorative blue lights indefinitely, which started April 9.

Safety-related lighting for the 1,400-ft. bridge will remain on.

The turnpike is facing a $2.2 billion debt, much of it from the Big Dig, and tolls are slated to double on July 1 if the Legislature doesn’t approve a new revenue stream.

The House and Senate have both passed bills that would eliminate the authority as part of a major transportation overhaul.

The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge is the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world.