The blue bridge bears a rich history. this particular rendition was commissioned in 1991 as a replacement for the old and rotting bridge that preceded it. With the expansion of the Cross Canyon dorms, Reed needed a new bridge that would conform to codes for disability access and last for many years with minimal impact on the canyon.
Since it's commissioning the blue bridge has accumulated an extensive cultural profile. In its early years it won the 1993 Award for Excellence from the Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association, and continues to be a destination for the Portland community as a whole.
The bridge has taken the marks of the student body, too. Shortly after its commissioning, anonymous student hooligans painted a center line using actual traffic paint in a hasty yet outstandingly executed overnight shenanigan. The reflective bumps that come with center lines excelled at their job of being a hassle to remove, and you can still see their residue as small periodic gray patches in the center of the bridge.
As for the iconic blue color, it used to be a soft white. Only after several Renn Fayres, when the lights were adapted for a more festive color, did the student body decide to keep the blue, a color beautiful yet nondisruptive to the canyon nighttime, for good.