Environmental Art Project to Light Up Pittsburgh Bridge for the Holidays

Riverlife hopes the temporary project will lead to permanent, decorative lighting of all three of the city's Sister bridges.



Much has been written about the iconic nature of Pittsburgh's “Three Sisters” bridges, which connect the North Shore to the Golden Triangle. In addition to helping people cross the Allegheny river, they are integral part of the skyline and serve as gathering places for baseball games and occasional festivals. During the holidays this year, one will be turned into a piece of art.

Environmental artist Andrea Polli and Ron Gdovic of WindStax – a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of alternative energy – are using wind turbines and LED lights to illuminate the Rachel Carson bridge for Light Up Night and the holiday shopping season.

The project, called Energy Flow, will cost $200,000 and is funded by Covestro LLC and Duquesne Light Co.

“The holidays are such a special time in Downtown Pittsburgh and we are thrilled to see this new lighting project unveiled on Light Up Night,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “The bridge is certain to serve as another anchor destination in Downtown throughout the season.”

Polli told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that illuminating a bridge has been her “dream project” since she lived near the Queensboro Bridge that crosses the East River into Manhattan. After the World Trade Center attack, New York City shut off the necklace lights there to save money. Polli developed a concept to create energy for a new lightning system but was unable win city approval.

Riverlife is hoping the Energy Flow lighting project will eventually lead to permanent, decorative lighting of all three of the Sister bridges.

“Done right, decorative bridge lighting could become a signature project for the city,” Jay Sukernek, Riverlife's vice president and chief  financial officer told the PG.

“They’re amazing bridges and an amazing part of Pittsburgh. This will get attention. We have to make sure we get it right.”


Categories: The 412