This just in, December 12, 2017, from the Seattle Department of Transportation re:  Fremont Bridge Lights

In celebration of the Fremont Bridge’s centennial anniversary, the Seattle Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS), will light the Fremont Bridge on the Winter Solstice, December 21st.

Installation of permanent, artist-designed lighting under the bridge, and pedestrian lighting on the bridge sidewalks, is underway. The color and tone of the art lights will gently reflect seasonal, solar, and lunar patterns. The art lights will create a soft glow that will subtly enhance the character this historic piece of Seattle’s cityscape, celebrating the vibrant artistic spirit of the Fremont and Queen Anne communities through public art.

Background–Lighted bridges distinguish cities around the world, yet Seattle remains one of the only major US cities without lighted bridges. We selected the Fremont Bridge for this pilot project because of its 100th anniversary and landmark designation. Built in 1917, the steel-frame Fremont Bridge was the city’s first double-leaf bascule bridge (draw-bridge that lifts from the middle) across the Lake Washington Ship Canal. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

In 2016, SDOT and ARTS commissioned lighting artists Hayley Buckbee and Ian Campbell (RSVR Visual Research, to create a contextually sensitive lighting concept for all three Ship Canal bridges—Fremont, Ballard, and University Bridges. The artists engaged community members in the design development process through a series of public events in Fall 2016.

What to Expect–Starting Thursday, December 21st, the Fremont Bridge art lights will be on during the evening hours.  This is Phase 1 of the Fremont Bridge Lights project. We expect Phase 2 will be ready in the spring and will softly illuminate more of the bridge. There will be no impacts to traffic—for people walking, biking, driving, or boating.

Get Involved–As the City moves forward with lighting all three Ship Canal bascule bridges, there will be opportunities to participate in stewarding Seattle’s future Bridge Lights.


Ching Chan, Communications Lead, Seattle Department of Transportation  For more information: | 206-615-0786