Love the Rachel Carson Bridge’s new lights? They could stay on through 2018

Or until a long-planned rehab project of the bridge begins.

Jasmine Goldband / The Incline
Sarah Anne Hughes

Update Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m.

Allegheny County Council approved the ordinance earlier this month. It is currently awaiting the signature of the county executive.

Original post

The colorful light installation on the Rachel Carson Bridge would stay up until the end of 2018 under an agreement before the Allegheny County Council.

County spokeswoman Amie Downs said council has been asked to consider an ordinance that would keep “Energy Flow” on the bridge until Dec. 31, 2018 — or at least until a long-planned rehab project on the Ninth Street Bridge begins. The bill is on the agenda for council’s next regular meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The county’s rehab of the Three Sisters Bridges that connect Downtown to the North Shore began in August 2016 with the Warhol Bridge. Work on the Rachel Carson is expected to begin sometime in 2018.

“Energy Flow” is part art installation, part environmental statement. It was created by artist Andrea Polli, who is overseeing two workshops this month on art and technology, and Ron Gdovic of WindStax and is powered by wind turbines. “Over 27,000 multicolored LED lights positioned along the bridge’s vertical cables show a real-time visualization of wind speed and direction as captured by a weather station located on the bridge,” according to Riverlife, one of the organizations behind the project.

“We hear every day how much people love ‘Energy Flow’ and how much they’d like it remain on the Rachel Carson Bridge. We’re grateful to County Executive Fitzgerald and County Council for hearing them too and extending this project,” Stephan Bontrager, Riverlife’s director of communications, said in a statement. “The County generously allowed ‘Energy Flow’ to be produced on the bridge, recognizing that this was a special project that showcases the innovation and beauty of Pittsburgh and the region. Along with all the other partners who came together to make this happen, Riverlife is so excited that people will be able to enjoy ‘Energy Flow’ throughout the rest of the year.”