WHY LIGHT PORTLAND’S BRIDGES?

  • To make the Willamette River and its bridges the visual focus of our city by night as well as by day.
  • To visually enhance the historic and remarkable features of the bridges.
  • To highlight and honor these structures which connect the mutually-dependent east
    and west neighborhoods of Portland.
  • To show in a bright and cheerful manner the civic pride felt by those who live and work here.
  • To strengthen positive impressions of our city gained by visitors, business and tourist alike.
  • To add a dimension of delight to river crossings.

CURRENT LIGHTING PROJECT:  The Burnside Bridge

Burnside Bridge Lights
WLB’s current efforts are focused on adding a lighting system that will shine on the architectural features of this bridge which spans the narrowest portion of the Willamette River in the Portland area. The Burnside’s style was influenced by the City Beautiful Movement of the 20′s and the contribution of an architect in its design–uniquely so among Portland’s bridges.

Its long east and west approaches emphasize its geographic importance: It permits its namesake street to stretch virtually from the eastern edge to the western edge of the city and to serve as the city’s north/south divider. The most notable, appealing architectural features of the bridge are the ornate spindle-type balustrade railings (wrought iron on the central bascule sections) and the two turreted operator houses which are cantilevered from the south face of the main piers. The towers are the features that will be lighted first. Learn More…