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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography

The I-35W Bridge On Unity Day

A Look At The I-35W Saint Anthony
Falls Bridge Lit Up In Orange For
Unity Day On October 22, 2014


I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
The new I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge features an innovative LED lighting system where each LED element is individually addressable, allowing any color in the spectrum to be displayed. On most nights, the bridge is bathed in a eerie blue glow that looks like something out of a science fiction movie. However, the bridge is occassionaly lit up in other colors for special occasions.

On October 22, 2014, the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge was lit up in a dark orange color to celebrate Unity Day. Unity Day was started by a group known as PACER, the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights. One of PACER's missions is the National Bullying Prevention Center. Unity Day has become a nationwide movement to support local anti-bullying efforts by displaying the color orange. In addition, the 2014 observance of Unity Day celebrated the enactment of a new and much stronger anti-bullying state law, which replaced an older Minnesota state law that was considered to be the weakest in the nation.

The photo above is the downstream east face of the Saint Anthony Falls Bridge as seen from the bicycle path that runs along the west side of the Mississippi River.

Note—these materials are covered by copyright and may not be used without written permission.


I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
The photo above is the downstream east face of the Saint Anthony Falls Bridge as seen from the south riverbank. The vantage point is standing near the south main bridge pier of the nearby 10th Avenue Bridge, located just downstream of the I-35W bridge.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This view of the downstream east face of the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge focuses on the south main bridge piers. The blue light in the foreground is a lighting controller malfunction. There were failures in the lighting controllers within 3 years of the bridge being completed, and additional segments have been failing in recent years.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This photo is looking north across the Mississippi River from directly below the I-35W Bridge. The vantage point is the path leading down to the observation deck on the south side of the river. The I-35W Bridge is actually two parallel spans with a small gap located between the two structures.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This is the upstream north face of the I-35W Bridge. This vantage point is not commonly seen given that the location is on rough terrain that is covered with trees and brush. The north side of the bridge has been maintained in blue since the Memorial Garden was opened, so it was somewhat unexpected to see both sides of the bridge lit up in orange during this light show.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This is another view of the north face of the structure. This view is only possible after the leaves have fallen off of the trees but before snow arrives. You can see tree branches and brush in the foreground, and one leg of the north bridge pier is obscured by a tree.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This is a view of the downstream east face of the I-35W Saint Anthon Falls Bridge as seen from the far side of West River Road. This view shows both the main channel span as well as both sets of main bridge piers.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This view of the downstream east face of the I-35W Bridge is from the top of the bluffs on the west side of the river. There is no specific path or trail leading to this location, but the new Bluff Street Bikeway provides easy access to the parkland where this bluff is located.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
This is a longer exposure shot taken from Northern Pacific Bridge #9. The vantage point is located high above West River Road, the parkway that runs along the west side of the Mississippi River. This view allows us to see the unlit 10th Avenue Bridge that sits in front of the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, as well as the interesting reflections of the orange light on the surface of the Mississippi River.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
These two photos are views of the Minneapolis city skyline as seen from Northern Pacific Bridge #9. This old railroad bridge is situated high above the Mississippi River, offering a gorgeous view of the downtown buildings, as well as the bridges located just upstream. This includes the I-35W Bridge and, sitting just in front of that structure, the unlit 10th Avenue Bridge. I like the effects of the light from the I-35W Bridge as it reflects off of the river.

I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge, Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN

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