BAYARD, Neb. — The installation of four new LED lighting at Nebraska’s Chimney Rock will have nighttime drivers along Highways 92 or 26 noticing an even brighter landmark in the distance.

Finishing touches and focusing of the lights were completed on May 8. Travelers report they could see the outline of Chimney Rock 10 miles to the west on Highway 92 and northwest of the site on Highway 26, the Star-Herald ( ) reported.

Drivers have been able to see the illuminated spire passing along the route that was originally the Oregon Trail since floodlights were first installed in the early 1980s.

The project to improve the lighting started in November when Bayard City Clerk Nate Heffron began rallying support to complete the work. The more than $12,000 cost had been covered within 60 days.

“I knew it would be cost prohibitive to just replace the existing lighting,” Heffron said. “When I started asking folks about supporting this project, I had all of the pledges we needed within a month.”

Colored lenses can also be used to observe holidays like Independence Day or Christmas.

Bayard Mayor Michelle Coolidge and her husband also noticed the more brightly lit site on their way home.

“We turned south onto Highway 92 at Minatare to see what the lights were like,” she said. “We could see Chimney Rock from there. It’s been a long time since people have been able to see the rock that far away. It reminded me of when the rock was first lit up when I was in grade school. It was exciting, and I felt that all over again.”

Information from: Star-Herald,

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