Traditional start of monsoon season at Luis Gutierrez Bridge

Check out the solar art alignment today at precisely 10:45 a.m. at the Luis G. Gutierrez bridge (formerly Cushing Street bridge, west of I-10, north of Riverpark Inn).

Discovery date: JULY 3, 10:45AM – Traditional start of the Tucson monsoon season

As for what happens on the bridge, at 10:45 a.m. the sun will shine through the overhead cut out canopy of saguaro cacti harvesting (see image below courtesy of photographer Charity Bidegain) onto the engraving on the floor of the bridge. The bridge was designed by architect/solar designer Dave Dobler and public artist  Brenda Semanick, and was dedicated in October, 2012.


Here’s what’s engraved in stone on the bridge:

“July 3rd of each year historically marks the first day of the summer monsoon rain storms. For generations the Tohono O’odham have harvested the saguaro fruit (Ha:san Bahidaj) using long poles made from Saguaro ribs. The fruit is used to make a wine that is consumed during the rain ceremony (Nawait I’i) that occurs during the monsoon season”.

More info at the FB page:

Chance of rain predicted today is 30%, so the monsoons may be starting on time.  Be there if it rains to enjoy the monsoons over the Santa Rita wash (and especially if it’s sunny to see this solar alignment).

Solar alignment complete at last year's viewing, courtesy of Charity Bidegain

Solar alignment complete at last year’s viewing, courtesy of Charity Bidegain

And if you miss this solar event, stay tuned for the next one on August 20 at 9:30 a.m., to mark Tucson’s Birthday. There are 12 solar alignments throughout the year marking other historic discovery dates at this bridge, all listed on their FB page.

One response to “Traditional start of monsoon season at Luis Gutierrez Bridge

  1. Reports of rain coming in…I guess the Tucson traditional monsoon season has begun, right on time for today’s alignment!