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Decorative dolphins return to Matlacha Bridge

By Staff | Dec 23, 2014

For the first time in several years, the holiday spirit has illuminated the Matlacha Bridge with five “dolphin” lights.

Bobby McKnight and Michael Gordon have been working to get these lights up for the last few years.

“The original dolphin lights were put up by Peg McTee and a couple of other women from Matlacha,” Gordon said. “After a few years the lights began to age and kept tripping the breakers on the bridge. Of course, LCEC couldn’t have that and had to put a stop to them going up.

“Bob McKnight and Gary Walker figured out a way to make the dolphin lights by using rope-lights,” he continued. “They completely refurbished them and once again they went up. Then they disappeared for a year. Eventually I found them and this year several of us got together to try to get them up once again.

“They needed to be sandblasted and repainted with Rust-oleum. Then we rewired the five dolphins and contacted LCEC. LCEC was so cooperative and the guys were awesome,” Gordon said. “They came out with their bucket trucks and put them up for us. We had a small problem with the fifth light but LCEC fixed it and all five are lit for everyone to enjoy. One thing about this little island, once the ball gets rolling everybody jumps on board to help out.

He went on to praise all the others who helped with the project.

“You know no one person gets anything done by himself,” Gordon went on to say. “In addition to me there was Jim Young, Bill Stoelker and John Barone and the entire operation was supervised by Bill McKee.”