Rachel Carson Bridge to be part of Light Up Night celebration


The Pittsburgh Bicentennial Steering Commission announced an innovative project envisioned as part of the city’s celebrations is moving forward.

With financial support from Covestro, LLC and logistical support from Duquesne Light Company and Allegheny County, the Rachel Carson Bridge will become the site of a unique environmental art installation to be revealed during the 2016 Light Up Night celebration.

“I am thrilled to see this historic project come to light,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Thanks to a great partnership between members of the Bridge Lighting Committee of the Bicentennial Commission, Allegheny County, Covestro, Duquesne Light, and the selected artist and implementation team, we will have a beautiful installation showcasing our rich history and promising future in design, energy, innovation and the arts.”

The Bridge Lighting Committee of the Bicentennial Commission went through a rigorous Request for Qualification and vetting process that has also resulted in the selection of a team to move the project forward.

Andrea Polli, an environmental artist, and Ron Gdovic of WindStax, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of wind turbines and alternative energy solutions, will be responsible for creating Energy Flow. The project will combine light and wind to create a temporary light display on the Rachel Carson Bridge.

Duquesne Light Company is providing the additional electrical infrastructure needed to bring the Energy Flow installation to life. As part of Allegheny County’s long-term efforts to rehabilitate the Three Sister Bridges and the city’s Bicentennial celebrations, Duquesne Light will be working over the next few months to design and install necessary equipment on the Rachel Carson Bridge.

The installation of a number of vertical wind turbines, and Duquesne Light’s work, will serve as a connection point for the temporary installation to the electric grid, providing an alternate source of power to the display.

In June, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Council passed legislation authorizing the use of the Rachel Carson Bridge for the purpose of the light display. In its legislative action, Council indicated that the use of the bridge for the display will bring enjoyment and benefit to the residents of the county, and will also promote our region nationally and internationally.

“For a long time, the Sister Bridges have been a symbol to people far and wide of our city, county and region,” said Fitzgerald. “We’re excited to support the Pittsburgh 200 celebration by making the Rachel Carson Bridge available for this effort and look forward to seeing the final results of this unique collaboration.”

The Bridge Committee was co-chaired by Jay Sukernek, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Riverlife, and Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. The committee spent months planning and working towards the ultimate goal of a bridge lighting for the Bicentennial Celebration.

As part of the project, wind turbines will be used to generate electricity to be used in Energy Flow. Additional information and information related to the project will be provided as the planning and efforts by the selected team continue to move forward, with the unveiling of the project schedule for Light Up Night 2016.

“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 Mr. Waldrup. “The bridge is certain to serve as another anchor destination in Downtown throughout the season.”


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