As if its name weren’t in the bright lights already, the just-opened Big Dam Bridge has more news: By Christmas, the pedestrian/bicycle bridge should be bathed in green and red beamed from state-of-the-art LED lamps.

John Rogers Design is installing special effects lighting that will illuminate the 4,226-foot-long bridge; programming will allow slow color fades across the spectrum. Nine programs have been created to light the pedestrian/biking bridge according to season and special events, County Judge Buddy Villines said.

What about those giant wedge-shaped blocks of concrete with the choppy edges at the top that are placed at the entrances to the bridge? The two-and-a-half ton, 10-foot-tall blocks were cut with diamond saws from the dam to make room for bridge supports. Rather than send them to the landfill, Villines decided to place the monoliths at the bridge entrances to soften the scale, and at one time considered mounting works of art on them. But former Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe had a better idea: Leave them alone. He thinks they work as art themselves, thanks to saw marks and their rough tops. Villines is taking his advice. The county will also plant trees at the base of the ramps so they don’t appear so intimidating.

Adios, y’all

While we thought there was some pretty good grub to be had there, we obviously didn’t patronize Riverdale’s Bubba and Garcia’s restaurant enough. The restaurant closed indefinitely as of last Sunday, 10 days short of a year in their location at 1611 Rebsamen Park Road. Their shtick was Southern roadhouse meets New Mexican cuisine, with items like chili dogs and sloppy burgers sharing space on the menu with quesadillas and tamales.

Zack David — son of owner Ed David, who also owns The Faded Rose next door — said the problem was traffic. “It was just a lack of business,” the younger David said, adding that they had informed the restaurant’s employees of the close on Sunday. David said that no plans have been made about what to do with the space, which the Davids own.

Reviewing security

Central High School administrators are reviewing their security procedures for football games after three students were attacked in a parking lot as they were leaving a game Sept. 29. One of the students was taken to Children’s Hospital by his parents with minor injuries, and the other two did not need medical treatment. An adult who came to the students’ aid held one person he said had been involved in the assault, but he was released after the two unhurt students said he wasn’t involved. According to a police report, the students said two people who had attacked them had driven away.

School district spokeswoman Suellen Vann said there are typically 20 to 22 security officers at Central football games, including seven police officers. She said there had been some other “incidents” in the neighborhood around the school after earlier games, but didn’t have details.

According to witness accounts, the attack, by youths loitering in a parking lot, was unprovoked.


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