Mill Avenue Bridges, Tempe

I don’t know when I first saw the Mill Avenue Bridges in Tempe AZ. I first noticed them a few years ago, passengering back from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after dark. With the lights showcasing the curvature of the spans, the view from Hwy 202 is lovely and I determined to get a photo for my bridge collection.  

This week was finally the week, because I had a late-afternoon knitting class about a mile away. Our afternoon reconnaissance made it clear that there was no good street-level place to stand on the south side of the Salt River, and no obvious place from which to gain some altitude so as to look down on the bridges. But the north side offers a beach, used for viewing 4th of July fireworks and a boat parade in mid-December, with the two spans soaring overhead.

We headed over to our scouted location at about 6:30 PM. Although it was, perhaps, 30 or 40 minutes after the prime time for getting that deep-blue sky at sunset, the night view of the bridges was still wonderful. I had some fun trying different views. Although I try to remember to look for symmetry in scenes, in this case I prefer the asymmetrical set-up.

Two views of Mill Avenue Bridges

There was also just enough light to get some reflections of the bridge structure itself, and just enough to make me want to try again, a bit earlier in relation to sunset.

2-photo collage of Mill Avenue Bridges at night

And, as usual when I go out and look, there was a bonus. In this case, a downstream rail bridge, also lit at night.

Rail Bridge over Salt River, Tempe AZ

9 Comments

  1. Tom Watson

    Isabel
    You produce such captivating photos. Well done!

    I had a thought, though. Does The Big Guy ever get tired of stopping all of a sudden so you can hop out and snap a picture?
    Tom

  2. Jim Taylor

    I had read the text, seen the pix, and then went back to it, scrolling down rapidly to get to the comments, to see if there were any new comments. And scrolling past the pix suddenly make them look Chinese-y, as if they were part of a Chinese New Year celebration, somehow. Quite unexpected. No, I have not been smoking something.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – All those lights . . . half of them sorta blurry. 🙂 Interesting, anyway, the patterns our brains see/impose to make sense of the world. I think your experience falls into the same category as the faces I can now see in things that don’t have faces.

  3. Knitting class? I assume you are the instructor! You might use this spectacle of light to inspire your patterns. Beaded and stately bedecking the bridge, they become like fireworks in the water. The symmetries and asymmetries in the lights play off the enormous, somber architectural geometries, the land, and the dark mirror of water. These pictures are memorable. They could inspire any number of arts.

  4. Pingback: Mill Avenue Bridges, Tempe – Part 2 – Traditional Iconoclast

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