Duquesne Light Company Announces Bridge Lighting
December 10, 2001
Pittsburgh, Pa. . . . . Duquesne Light, the Electric Distribution Company for Pittsburgh, PA, USA, announced in November 2001 a major grant to INTA member Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (Landmarks) to design and install a lighting system for the first of 13 downtown bridges, the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The Foundation will be working with Allegheny County (owner of the bridge), the Riverlife Task Force, the City of Pittsburgh, and many other organizations to develop and install a successful system.
In 1984 Landmarks successfully lit the oldest bridge in downtown Pittsburgh, the historic Smithfield Street Bridge, designed by Gustav Lindenthal and built in 1884; the celebration included a huge Roman Candle fireworks waterfall and the lighting has received much acclaim.
Efforts to illuminate Pittsburgh’s bridges dates back over 70 years. In 1929, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the invention of the Edison electric light bulb, the Duquesne Light Company strung the three sister bridges (6th, 7th and 9th Street) and the Manchester, Point, Smithfield, Panhandle and Liberty bridges with garlands of electric bulbs.
Sixty years later, the Greater Pittsburgh Office of Promotion revived the idea with two nights of a demonstration lighting of the Fort Duquesne and Sixth Street Bridges in 1989 and Regatta weekend, a few years later, saw the West End Bridge lit in a demonstration culminating in another cascade of fireworks.
Now thanks to Duquesne Light’s generous contribution, the Roberto Clemente Bridge will be fitted with a state-of-the-art lighting system to showcase its strong architectural features. Once lit, the bridge will form a highly visible linkage between downtown and the Northside neighborhood, home to some of the cities most popular destinations including the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Science Center, PNC Park, and Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation will oversee the project and spearhead the efforts to complete the lighting of as many as twelve other downtown bridges.