Broadway Bridge ‘yarn bombed’ in 100-year nod

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The Broadway Bridge "yarn bomb" exhibit went up in celebration of the Portland bridge's 100th anniversary coming up Aug. 10, 2013. (KOIN 6 News, as seen July 21, 2013)
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The Broadway Bridge “yarn bomb” exhibit went up in celebration of the Portland bridge’s 100th anniversary coming up Aug. 10, 2013. (KOIN 6 News, as seen July 21, 2013)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s Broadway Bridge is back open after being closed for much of the weekend. And those passing over or by the bridge will be getting a little extra color in their commute.

The Broadway Bridge has been “yarn bombed.”

The term “yarn bomb” refers to “street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth, rather than paint or chalk,” according to the Urban Dictionary.

The PDX Bridge Festival installed the temporary art project in celebration of the bridge’s 100th birthday coming up Aug. 10. They’re calling it “Bridge For Blankets.”

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The Broadway Bridge “yarn bomb” exhibit went up in celebration of the Portland bridge’s 100th anniversary coming up Aug. 10, 2013. (KOIN 6 News, as seen July 21, 2013)

One-hundred-fifty volunteer knitters created the 18-by-21-foot blanket, using 100% superwash merino wool.  When the festival ends, the banners will be washed, divided up, and donated to local warming shelters.

As for the recent bridge shut down, the county shut it down to cars Saturday and Sunday to allow crews to inspect the bridge. The inspection is required every two years.

Sunday’s closure affected a bus route, but the streetcar was still allowed to pass through.

The Broadway Bridge spans the Willamette River in Portland. It was completed in 1913 to become the first bascule bridge built in Portland and the longest in the world at the time of its completion, according to “Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon” (Oregon Historical Society Press, revised in 2000). In 2012 the Broadway Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

This “yarn bomb” exhibition is being called Portland’s largest knitted art installation to date. It will remain on the bridge through August.

Related resources:

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