Bridge of Glass wins Awards of Excellence honor

WSDOT and FHWA Recognize “Excellence” in the City of Tacoma’s Chihuly Bridge of Glass.

Earlier this month, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) recognized the city of Tacoma’s Chihuly Bridge of Glass for the Awards of Excellence Best Special Project award.

The Awards of Excellence program is a collaborative effort between WSDOT Highways and Local Programs and FHWA to formally recognize local agency projects that have achieved excellence in construction, innovative design, environmental compatibility, and public involvement and satisfaction.

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is destined to become world famous, city officials hope. The innovative design of this project has created a grand entrance into the newly revitalized downtown Tacoma.

The bridge exhibits glass art in the “Seaform Pavilion,” “Crystal Towers” and “Venetian Wall.”

The Seaform Pavilion, which is located on the bridge’s west end, features 2,364 objects from Dale Chihuly’s Seaform and Persian series.

The Crystal Towers feature two 40-foot tall, ice blue crystal towers located at the bridge’s mid-point.

The Venetian Wall, located on the bridge’s east end, has 109 display cases, each housing a separate sculpture from Chihuly’s Venetians, Ikebana and Putti series.

The project began as a partnership between Tacoma native and world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly, the City of Tacoma, and the Museum of Glass.

The pedestrian bridge spans the I-705 freeway and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe West Coast main line tracks, and it serves as a safe pedestrian hub linking together several districts, public facilities, and Tacoma’s waterfront.

The project plays a strategic role in building community livability with centralized growth, residences, recreation, commerce, and enhanced non-motorized transportation.

Funding sources for the Chihuly Bridge of Glass project included approximately $4.7 million in local funds and $1.7 million in federal funds.

Also, Chihuly will receive this year’s Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Field of Glass Art.

The annual award honors seminal artists in the glass medium and sets a standard for emerging artists.

The award will be presented at the Opening Ceremonies at Bagley Wright Theatre during the 33rd Annual Glass Art Society Conference in Seattle, from June 12 to June 15.