Submitted by Svigals + Partners
Demonstrating the value of art in the public realm, the sculpture-lined Beehive Bridge in New Britain, Conn. — with artwork and design innovation by Svigals + Partners — has become a touchstone of a major community-wide festival this week.
The Beehive Bridge, which reunites two halves of New Britain separated a decade ago by a highway project, will be the namesake and focus of the first Beehive Bridge Festival to be held Sept. 18, announced by the city’s Mayor, Erin Stewart. Taking place from 5-10 p.m., the festival is an over-21 event ticketed at $15 per person, with music performances and several food trucks offering varied cuisines, beers and wines.
Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the iconic bridge, the Beehive Bridge Festival recalls the valuable structural reinforcement of the highway overpass by engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill as well as Svigals + Partners’ widely acclaimed public works of art. With bigger sidewalks, bike lanes and pocket parks, the new bridge instantly created a pedestrian-friendly, active corridor linking residential, business and entertainment districts while fostering a sense of community and civic pride, say local leaders.
City officials and project team members dedicated the bridge almost exactly one year before, on Thursday, Sept. 19.
The concept for reimagining the 265-foot-long overpass borrows from the “beehive” theme of New Britain’s official seal. Noted for stunning visual impact, colorful translucent panels in a honeycomb pattern separate the overpass visually from the highway, and glow at night with color-changing LED illumination. Four large-format stainless-steel honeybee sculptures bookend the bridge, and a large ‘hive’ installation anchors the center.
The massive five-year effort to reimagine the Beehive Bridge involved New Britain City Hall, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, several design firms, and a steering committee composed of local artists and business owners.