The triangular truss bridge contributes to a pattern language with the existing three bridges as they traverse over Tempe Town Lake. The two highway bridges are based on the arch and constructed of concrete. The historic railroad bridge is a Pratt truss made of steel. The light rail bridge is an innovative triangular truss and, like its railroad couterpart, is made of steel. The four bridges represent three basic geometric shapes: the circle, the square, and the triangle. Each is reinforced individually yet interact in a collective conversation.


Lighting approaches include interactive responses to passing transit, complimenting environmental conditions (temperature, sunsets, etc.) and seasonal/social events. The design employs energy efficient, durable LEDs. Computer programming provides flexibility and easy access to bridge lighting events.


The prominent location of this bridge as seen from foot, automobile, and aircraft provides a significant vector gateway. The nighttime ambient darkness of the site is an asset for subtle and sophisticated lighting approaches. Sitting over a reflective body of water provides daytime and nighttime opportunities.


Additional components of the project include the Trialogue seating sculpture, the Dry Mud Wall along the northern bridge approach, and the Flood Plain Portals along the southern bridge approach.

tempe Light rail transit bridge

2007 • Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ

Steel, concrete, LED lighting, porcelain enamel. 30' x 30' x 1500'.

© 2007 Buster Simpson

Site Design by Todd Metten

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