By Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN – Times Square may be flooded with tourists, but the Great White Way will soon look like a river runs straight through it.
Five pedestrian plazas in the area are set to receive a summer makeover that will replace the current monochromatic bubbles with a striking blue pattern meant to look like water, the Department of Transportation said.
Brooklyn-based artist Molly Dilworth beat out 150 competitors with her design named "Cool Water, Hot Island."
Dilworth said the idea is based on NASA's infrared satellite images of Manhattan, which paint hot patches in reds and oranges and cooler areas in blues.
“The idea was to do something calming, something arrested in Times Square," she told DNAinfo on a break from mixing paints on a roof on Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn.
"It's like a long, narrow painting,” she said.
The DOT said they hope the design will help make Times Square more appealing, especially over the summer months.
"The design's color palette of striking blues and lighter hues reflects more sunlight and absorb less heat - improving the look of these popular pedestrian plazas while making them more comfortable to sit in," they said in a statement.
They also hope the cool blue shades will provide "a compelling visual counterpoint to the reds, oranges and yellows of the area’s signature marquees and billboard."
Dilworth, who also receives a $15,000 prize, said she was thrilled to be chosen.
"Oh my God! If I has been sitting in a chair, I would have fallen off off it for sure," she said. “It’s an iconic New York spot for people around the world."
Crews are set to begin construction on June 23, Dilworth said, and the design will grace the plazas for up to 18 months.
The competition, announced in March, was judged by a jury that included representatives from the DOT, the Times Square Alliance, and the Mayor's Office and the Design Commission.
The DOT is expected to begin construction on permanent plazas in Times Square by 2012.