Pittsburgh’s Dynamic Nightime Skyline Gets A New Addition – Duquesne Light Turns On Clemente Bridge Architectural Lighing System
Pittsburgh- Duquesne Light Provided a luminous new addition to Pittsburgh’s Dynamic nighttime skyline this evening when the company officially turned on an architectural lighting system for the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
“This project serves as a shining symbol of our commitment to the region and is an important addition to the ongoing initiative to create one of the most striking urban waterfronts in the country,” said Morgan K. O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of DQE, Inc., Duquesne Light’s parent company. “The employees of Duquesne Light are proud to be involved in such an exciting project.”
At 6:45 p.m., senior line worker Charlie Magnus – who helped install the lighting system – flipped a switch that illuminated a 22-by-20 foot Duquesne Light logo. The lighting of the logo marked the beginning of a unique fireworks show, which included pyrotechnics that created a cascading waterfall effect. When the smoke cleared nine minutes later, an illuminated Clemente Bridge, framed by blue and white lights, appeared.
Joining O’brien at the lighting ceremony, held along the Riverwalk at PNC Park, were about 450 business and community leaders, including the Duquesne Light crew that installed the architectural lighting system. among those who delivered remarks were Governor-elect Ed Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddy; Pittsburgh deputy Mayor Tom Cox; Pittsburgh City Councilman Sala Udin; Pittsburgh History & Landmarks President Arthur Ziegler; and Riverlife Task Force Co-Chairman John Craig.
“This project involved the cooperation of numerous organizations throughout Pittsburgh,” said O’Brien. “It is the cooperative spirit among a variety of organizations, including the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, that enabled this project to be completed.”
“We are pleased by the magnificent gift of Duquesne Light, as well as the vision of designers Ray Grenald, Courtney Sarge, and Hal Hilbish, which enabled us to illuminate this popular bridge, which won an award in 1928 as the most handsome steel bridge in the United States,’ said History & Landmarks President Arthur Ziegler.
In November 2001, Duquesne Light announced that it would provide the necessary financial support to permanently illuminate the bridge. Duquesne Light crews began installing the lighting system on August 26th. A subcontractor assisted Duquesne Light crews by installing lights on the underside of the bridge and outside of the railing abutting the sidewalks.
As part of its gift, Duquesne Light also created a special endowment that will be used for energy costs and ongoing maintenance and repair of the bridge lights. More than 2000 energy-efficient lights were installed. Most of the visible fixtures were selected for their historical accuracy, while others were chosen for their ability to illuminate the bridge’s more notable architectural features. The installation process was designed to protect the structural integrity of the bridge.
Ray Grenald, a nationally recognized architectural lighting designer, who also designed the lighting scheme for the Smithfield Street Bridge, lead the team that developed the lighting design.
Efforts to illuminate Pittsburgh’s bridges date back to 1929 when Duquesne Light strung Allegheny County’s three “Sister Bridges” – the Sixth Street, Seventh Street, and Ninth Street bridges – and others i the Golden Triangle, with garlands of lights in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the electric light bulb. The most recent effort dates back to 1997, when the Fort Pitt, Fort Duquesne, and West End bridges were lit in conjunction with the Three Rivers Regatta.