ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council has announced the unveiling of new, programmable lights in the downtown pedestrian tunnels between North 1st Street and South 1st Street. Lynn Barnett, Council Executive Director, invites all to come to the unveiling on January 26 at 2:00 p.m. behind the T&P depot. She added that the lights will be the link between the SODA district and the developing Cultural district.

“It’s actually been an idea for probably about 4 years… It really took off when we got a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, The State Arts Agency to help fund the lighting,” Barnett explained.

The project was initially brought up by Abilene business owner Tim Smith. Barnett said the addition of more lighting and cameras for security will make the tunnels a much more viable option for pedestrians walking downtown to pass between the areas.

“Pedestrian traffic is huge when you talk about increasing the folks downtown and safety is huge… So we’re just excited that people will be able to navigate between the two. Not have to get back in their car, drive park,” Barnett expressed.

The fixtures will be programmable to display a variety of colors to continue the feeling of creativity and storybook fun between the districts. They will also shed some much needed light on the 3D dragon mural in the tunnel behind the T&P depot, painted by international artist Kurt Wenner in 2021.

Barnett said the need for walk-able paths will only increase with the completion of the convention center hotel.

“And they will have the opportunity to walk around and experience our beautiful downtown Everything that’s being done just continues the experience for people down here,” Barnett said.

He added that these new editions will make Downtown Abilene a much more pleasing experience for those taking in the sights.