Portland Pictures: Hawthorne Bridge Lighting Event | PDX Bridge Festival

Related – July 31: ALL DAY PDX Bridge Festival — Hawthorne Bridge Party | MORSound: Free Concert | After Party

Hawthorne Lights
Hawthorne Bridge
Portland, Oregon
PDX Bridge Festival
Taken on July 24, 2010
Photo by Andrew Curtis

Description: Hard to tell but there are these canvas sails attached all over the bridge, and supposedly a light display was supposed to be turned on at 10pm last night. My wife and I were scratching our heads trying to figure out if there were any lights at all. Turns out there were, but they weren't very dramatic.

I was up on the bridge waiting for this event to take place. The event description stated it would start at 9:30, but it actually happened about 45 minutes later. There were obviously some problems as there was way too much ambient light to really see the lights projected on the tarps. The problem is explained below in the comments.

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More pictures and comments on the event below

Comment on above Photo from Flickr (emphasis added by Pipeline):

  • Aaron I. Rogosin: As far as the lights are concerned last night the plan was to raise the bridge kill the lights and activate the installation. How ever no one ever showed the bridge operator how to kill the lights on the bridge. SO the operator stated to flip all the breakers and in the process she killed the power to the installation. Which in turn messed up the programming for the lights. So thats why you were scratching your head. Sorry. But these things happen when your working with the city.

Photo by Squid Vicious

Description: They were having a fabric and light show on the Hawthorne Bridge and it didn't go well. Before the 10pm light show I could something wrong already. The bridge lights were on, As you can see the fabric doesn't really light up to well when very bright and way bigger orange bridge lights illuminate the fabric more then a small string of LED lights…booo

Comments on above photo from Flickr (emphasis added by Pipeline):

  • shetha: Silly! I thought the bridge condoms looked odd this morning. It was kinda cool to see the drug runner boats going underneath, though. Gallons and Gallons and Gallons of gas straight up in the air or into the water. WOOHOO!
  • Squid Vicious: Hanging portlands dirty laundry up for everyone to see was odd.
  • bridgecitygirl: Word on the street is that Multnomah County wouldn't kill the safety lights. Oh well, it's still pretty, and still an awesome idea! For those of you who don't know, the installation changes with the traffic patterns on the bridge! that's pretty sweet!

Lift 100
Lift 100
Photo by Ben McLeod

Description: At 10pm, the Hawthorne Bridge lifted and the art installation started.

The PDX Bridge Festival is a celebration of Portland's bridges, but is centered around the Hawthorne Bridge's 100th birthday.

From Wikipedia, “It is the oldest vertical-lift bridge in operation in the United States and the oldest highway bridge in Portland. It is also the busiest bicycle and transit bridge in Oregon, with over 4,800 cyclists and 750 TriMet buses daily.”

Photo by Squid Vicious

Tucker Teutsch on Hawthorne Bridge
Tucker Teutsch
PDX Bridge Fest Organizer

Hawthorne Bridge
Taken on July 24, 2010
Photo by Julian Chadwick/PDX Pipeline

I ran into Tucker after the lighting and he told me that the purple lights are motion activated by people and cars going by and there will be art projected on those tarps coming this week(end).

Waiting on Hawthorne Bridge
Hawthorne Bridge Lift
Waiting for the display/to cross
Photo by Julian Chadwick/PDX Pipeline

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4 Responses to Portland Pictures: Hawthorne Bridge Lighting Event | PDX Bridge Festival

  1. LS July 27, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    re: Aaron I. Rogosin comment above: How could there not have been coordination with the bridge operator? No rehearsal? And you blame the city, implying they were and always are incompetent so what do you expect? The organizers should have planned this better. Bad form. Really poorly done all around.

    • Chris July 27, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

      LS- Aaron’s statement is true. I know because I was in the booth. most of the operators have never turned off the lights, why would they ever need to? Also, how do you rehearse a bridge lighting? you tell me… should they just turn off the bridge and keep flipping the on switch over and over until they get the timing down? Yes, it could have gone over better but this is the first time anyone has tried anything like this in over 20 years… give people a break.

  2. JS July 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Great…not quite a bold enough gesture. Like how we showed it in our competition submission over a month. Interesting that it was the same project…

    see under resilient city

  3. Malorie July 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    This whole thing is stupid, poorly planned and horribly executed by a bunch of people that should have continued to think about Burning Man opposed to making a beautiful bridge look stupid.

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