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Rattlesnake Bridge front.

Rattlesnake Bridge

Field review by the editors.

Tucson, Arizona

The residents of Tucson enjoy the singular experience of walking and bicycling though the innards of a 280 feet long diamondback rattlesnake. The snake is a pedestrian bridge over Broadway Boulevard, built as a high concept art project with public art funding (if you're fixing infrastructure, you might as well make it something weird or fun to look at).

The design concept came from Tucson artist Simon Donovan in 1997, was completed in 2002, and has subsequently won several design awards.

Rattlesnake Bridge rear.

The snake's eyes originally lit up at night, and the tail contained a motion sensor that triggered an amplified rattling sound -- perfect to startle speeding bicyclists. The Tucson Dept. of Transportation, however, has had its funds for art maintenance eliminated, so the eyes no longer glow, the rattle is silent, and the skin is starting to rip.

The bridge doesn't appear to be heavily trafficked; we were the only ones on it for 20 minutes in early evening. It also seemed to lead from one non-essential part of town to another, but maybe we just missed the mad rattler commute....

Rattlesnake Bridge

E. McKey St., Tucson, AZ
From Broadway Blvd turn south onto S. Euclid Ave., then quickly turn right onto E. McKey St. Park in the lot and walk over the bridge.
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