Extraordinary Stories

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The "Thaddus Stevens Finally Prevails" Story

Aerial photo from the Lancaster Newspapers.
This photo shows the new bridge slightly above
center in the photo.  The wind sculptures are
located left-center in the photo where a road
runs off to the left of the main thoroughfare.
It was an ordinary day.  Just stopped to take a photo of the new wind sculptures that are now a part of the Thaddeus Stevens Bridge that takes traffic over the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks on Route 501.  The bridge itself just opened recently after over a year of construction.  It was back in 2001 that a local lawmaker asked the PA Department of Transportation to name the proposed bridge over Route 72 the Thaddeus Stevens Bridge.  Well, that never happened since they named the bridge the General Richard M. Scott Bridge in honor of the Lancaster Mayor and retired Air Force General.  Finally, the bridge over Rt. 501 was named for Lancaster's 19th century egalitarian representative and abolitionist and my youngest son's namesake.  The new bridge is 176 feet long and supported by six steel girders that I wrote about in the past.  
"Silent Symphony" lines the street on both sides while
the Lancaster Amtrak Station is in the background.
The four lane bridge with a walkway on the east side replaced the decaying bridge that I walked over daily on my way to Brecht Elementary School in the early 1950's. A "High Voltage - Do Not Touch" sign always warned my friends not to climb the bridge for a look at the tracks.  The wind sculptures are 42 spinning sculptures that are named "Silent Symphony" by artist Lyman Whitaker of Utah.  
Sculpture vary in size and pattern.
They are located at the southwest corner of the bridge on either side of McGovern Ave. with the Lancaster Amtrak Train Station in the background.  The artwork, funded by public donations, cost $200,000.  The kinetic wind sculptures all have different sized blades which will cause them to spin at different speeds.  They range in height from 14 feet to 34 feet and are said to never stop moving.  Spot lights will shine from the ground to illuminate the sculptures at night.  Trees and shrubs will also be planted near the base of the sculptures.  The new bridge has been open since July with the wind sculptures recently being added.  I must admit, they are beautiful and a neat addition to my old neighborhood where I roamed the area on which they now stand.  Also noticed a "High Voltage" sign on the new bridge for this generation of students.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

2 comments:

  1. I thought you lived on Janet Ac and would've walked around the corner to N C Shaeffer...I was a couple grades behind you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My parents only moved to Janet Ave. after I graduated from high school. I was in my first year of college at the time. I lived on N. Queen until 1963 and went to Brecht for 6 years.

    ReplyDelete