Lantern festival transforms gritty I Street bridge into illuminated walkway
The I Street Bridge has been a workhorse for cars and trains for more than a century, but on Saturday evening it was transformed with lights and LED lanterns into a parade route for pedestrians.
The crowd, led by dragon dancers and drummers, carried the lanterns in honor of the Chinese workers who built the bridge and much of the Transcontinental Railroad. The festival was held as part of an ongoing feasibility study by the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento on turning the upper portion of the bridge into a park for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles when cars move to a new bridge planned nearby.
Mayor Steinberg and his wife, Julie, walked behind the Sacramento Mandarins drum corps. Also attending were Dr. Sen. Richard Pan, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, West Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Quirina Orozco and Mike McGowan, the former West Sacramento mayor and Yolo County supervisor known as “Mr. West Sacramento.”
“It’s 2019, and this is the century of Jump bikes and scooters, and of walking,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said before the crowd set off from the West Sacramento side of the bridge. “It is so exciting and important that we are working together to envision a new and different I Street bridge. A bridge where people can stroll, can see the vistas of both sides…..Let us scoot boldly into the future.”
Photos by Namu Williams of American Photographic.