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City bridges slated for light-up project

Tribune Review

Preservationists, planners and business leaders will gather at the center of the Roberto Clemente Bridge at 11 a.m. today to discuss a joint effort to illuminate the city’s bridges.

“I think it’s just sort of a grand, picturesque scenario,” said Rod Frantz, acting manager of the new Bridge Lighting Initiative. The nonprofit group – a partnership of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, the Riverlife Task Force and Duquesne Light – is set to start a fund-raising effort to light all 13 of the city’s bridges over the next six to eight years.

The first to be lit will be the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which Frantz said should be aglow by April or early May. Duquesne Light is covering the undisclosed cost.

The Smithfield Street Bridge is already lit up, but this project will take a different approach to the work, Frantz said.

He said the work will feature lighting of the Clemente Bridge’s superstructure and its underside, plus using a palette of colors to animate the entire bridge, which spans the Allegheny River from the North Side to Downtown.

The group plans to hold public hearings soon and meld recommendations with those of the architects, lighting designers and artists submitting bridge lighting ideas to the Riverlife Task Force.

“We should really celebrate (the bridges), because we have more bridges than any city in the Western world other than Venice, Italy,” Frantz said.

This article appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. © Tribune Review

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