Bins of Light installation begins - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bins of Light installation begins

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04/10/17 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - The long-awaited installation of the “Yakima Illuminations: Bins of Light” art feature on the east side of the Lincoln Avenue underpass train bridge is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 11th.

It is expected that it will take primary contractor Bellsass & Smith Construction, Inc., which is based in Ellensburg, about four to six weeks to complete the installation process.

While the installation process is underway, two of the three lanes of Lincoln Avenue between 1st Street and 1st Avenue will be closed Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. During the project, the northernmost lane along that section of Lincoln will remain open during work hours. All three lanes of Lincoln Avenue between 1st Street and 1st Avenue will be open during evening hours and on weekends.

Drivers are reminded that the speed limit through all traffic-related works zones within the City of Yakima is 20 miles per hour.  During the project, traffic delays in the area are likely to occur. Drivers should use alternate routes until the project is completed.

As always, the schedule for this type of a project is subject to change daily dependent on weather, equipment failure, and emergencies.

Originally conceived nearly a decade ago, the 48-foot wide Bins of Light piece was designed by Seattle-based artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan. The piece is made up of more than 50 glass panels that have images of fruit on one side and silhouette-like representations of well-known Yakima Valley fruit labels on the other side. The fruit side of the panels will face east and the labels side of the panels will face west once the piece is installed.

Haddad and Drugan drew on Yakima’s past and present role as a key player in the fruit industry when they created Bins of Light. The fruit bin-shaped panels that will make up Bins of Light will be illuminated by sunlight during the day and by LED lights at night. Lights in the panels will turn on and off in a pattern reminiscent of the stacking and unstacking of the fruit bins that have long been part of the landscape along North Front Street.

Fabrication of the one-of-a-kind Bins of Light piece and its installation will end up costing about $450,000. The money used to pay for the Bins of Light project comes from unused funds that were generated for the construction of the Lincoln Avenue underpass (completed in 2012) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard underpass (completed in 2014).

A formal dedication ceremony will take place once the Bins of Light installation is complete.


YAKIMA, WA - It's taken years to build, but next month in November the city of Yakima will finally be completing a project that will light up one of the city's overpasses. 

The Lincoln Avenue overpass will soon have colored glass panels stacked on each other to resemble fruit bins. The panels will have the names of historic fruit companies on one side and a type of fruit design on the other.

By day, the panels will be lit by the sun, and at night they will be lit by lights inside the panels or by any train that passes.

The project has suffered some setbacks, the most recent being the incompletion of the glass panels which were made overseas.

"The glass panels are made of a very special type of glass," said Randy Beehler, city of Yakima spokesman. "It has been done by a specialty glass maker that's based in Germany."

This project was funded with the same money used to build the Lincoln Avenue overpass and the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard overpass.

When both were constructed years ago, some money was left over for this project as well as sidewalk improvements.

The city is hoping to have this project done sometime before the end of November or by the beginning of December at the latest.