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New Blatnik lights will shine from inside

The Minnesota Department of Transportation released this artists' rendering of what the Blatnik Bridge will look like with lights that will be installed next summer. (MNDot photo illustration)

The people have spoken.

After public comment on two options to light the Blatnik Bridge, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced a design featuring an illumination from inside the bridge was chosen.

"Public comments overwhelmingly preferred the illuminated design, which will feature strategically-placed fixtures that cast light off the interior of the structure," MnDOT said in a statement.

The Blatnik Bridge's new energy-efficient lighting system will be operational by fall 2013, and is expected to cost $1.2 million to install. The cost will be split between the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation.

Features include a 35 percent energy savings, a reduced number of fixtures, easier maintenance, uniform light levels, programmable LED fixtures, reduced glare and increased protection from snow and roadway salt.

Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2013.