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Lights Bridge Art and Infrastructure

Friday, May 17, 2013

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Combining art and infrastructure, two U.S. cities are marking milestones by projecting their pride in lights on bridges.

On Tuesday (May 14), the city of Minneapolis lit up its I-35 bridge in rainbow colors to celebrate the state’s new Marriage Equality Law.

I35 bridge
Facebook / City of Minnesota

To celebrate the state's Marriage Equality bill being signed into law, Minnesota projected rainbow and purple lights on the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River.

The bridge opened in September 2008 to replace the one that collapsed in August 2007, killing 13 people and sending hundreds of cars into the Mississippi River below.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Marriage Equality bill into law on Monday (May 13), making Minnesota the 12th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage.

The rainbow light display was installed on the bridge in 2011 for the Twin Cities Pride weekend. The Minnesota Department of Transportation adjusted 570 light fixtures on the bridge and 48 fixtures on the pier to make them glow rainbow and purple. Since the lights were already in place, there was no additional cost for the new display, local CBS affiliate WCCO reported.

Marriage Equality law
Flickr / Tony Webster

The lights were installed for a 2011 display, so there was no cost to the new display, reports said. The bridge over the Mississippi River replaced the structure that collapsed in 2007.

25K Lights Sparkle on the Bay

The Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco is also getting attention for its lights.

At 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high, The Bay Lights is the world’s largest LED light sculpture. Artist Leo Villareal individually programmed the 25,000 white LED lights to create a never-repeating display across the west span of the bridge.

Attached to 300 of the bridge’s vertical suspension cables, the lights are placed 12 inches apart and connected with wiring. A computer is used to create the moving light pattern designs.

Bay Bridge Lights
DJ Murdok Photos

The world's largest LED light sculpture is illuminating the Bay Bridge with 25,000 white lights.

The lights, inspired by the bridge’s 75th anniversary, will be on display through March 2015.

For those not in the Bay Area, a nightly live webcast of the lights can be viewed from dusk until 2 a.m. PT.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Department of Transportation (DOT)

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