As Wilsonville Road interchange area converted from six lanes to eight lanes for vehicular safety and capacity improvements, bicyclists and pedestrians also benefited with better east / west crossings under I-5. Wilsonville’s young student artists created tile art that was incorporated into the design to beautify the environment to make it inviting, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing, with the goals of improving mobility and encouraging bicycling and walking.
The Wilsonville City Council recognized the critical need for better community walking and bicycling connections on Wilsonville Road. With dedicated funds to improve the infrastructure, the project additionally provided Wilsonville public school students a unique civic and educational opportunity to craft a truly local work of art. The end result connects youth not only to the present community but ever after to Wilsonville.
Beauty and the Bridge's key goals are to:
Make Wilsonville Road more inviting to walk and bike
Create a safe way to travel for people who walk and bike under I-5 and to cross the street
Involve Wilsonville public schools in the creation of a unique piece of public art
Create an attractive and inviting gateway to Wilsonville
The project involved over a thousand of Wilsonville’s elementary, middle, and high school students in the creation of public tiled art. To ensure that the project reflects student voices, a Student Art Council (SAC) formed early in the project. The SAC served as a liaison between the project, project stakeholders, and the media. It represents just one layer of a remarkable process that brings together city staff, council, schools, and the community in combining public art with a major infrastructure construction project.
The City of Wilsonville and the West Linn-Wilsonville School District sponsored a public dedication event held Sunday, October 7, 2012 to commemorate completion of the “Beauty & the Bridge” student art project.