City of Tucson Ward 1 Councilor Regina Romero is inviting the public to celebrate the bicycle and pedestrian opening of the Luis G. Gutierrez Bridge for a “Walk to the West Side” on Thursday, October 11, 2012. The event starts at 4 p.m. and will include guest speakers, a tour of the bridge with artist Brenda Semanick, and Mariachi performances. The event will take place on the west side of the new bridge. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, former Mayor Bob Walkup, and former Tucson City Manager Luis G. Gutierrez, for whom the bridge is named after, will attend the event.

In addition, University Pedicabs will be available to tour Mission Gardens and the Mercado San Agustìn will be hosting the Community Food Bank’s Santa Cruz River Farmer’s Market. Free parking will be available west of Intersate 10 at Avenida Del Convento and on the eastside of the bridge at the Riverpark Inn, 350 S. Freeway.

"This beautiful bridge is linking east and west side neighborhoods, and doubling the size of our Downtown. We need to celebrate it every step of the way,” said Council Member Romero. “Today we celebrate pedestrian and bicycle connections, and early next year we will be multi-modal with the Sun Link Streetcar."

The 320-foot long “signature” bridge will be a vital connection in the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar project and will provide an east-west passage way for pedestrians, bicycles, motorists, as well as buses and the streetcar.

The bridge is named after Mr. Gutierrez, who had a profound impact on the City’s west side where he spearheaded downtown revitalization while maintaining the historic integrity of the area that is often referred to as Tucson’s birthplace. A gifted administrator, Mr. Gutierrez was often the “bridge builder” between constituents and special interest groups.

Tucson artists Brenda Semanick and David Johnson Vandenberg have created an elaborate public art project for the bridge which highlights historical and natural aspects of the area. Various artistic elements of the project include steel cutout canopies, handmade bat sculptures, and replicas of Hohokam pottery shards. For more information on the “Walk to the West Side” event, contact Ward 1 at 791-4040 or visit http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/announcement/celebrate-luis-g-gutierrez-bridge