What started as a college art project next to the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood turned into a bomb scare this morning.
Two men set up a large wooden box directly under the Aurora Bridge that had two red push-buttons on two of its 2.5-foot-wide sides, according to Seattle Police Department spokeswoman Renee Witt. Witnesses near the 800 block of North 34th Street called police at 9:52 a.m. after seeing both men leave, one on foot and one by car.
By the time one 29-year-old man came back to work on the project, Witt said, police had blocked off streets near the Aurora Bridge, and arson and bomb squad detectives were examining the box with a camera-mounted robot. Lake Union boaters were also advised to stay 300 feet off shore.
The man told police the box was actually an art project for a graduate course at the University of Washington, Witt said. He called the box an “interactive location-specific” piece of artwork. Police did not say how the interactive part of the project was supposed to work.
After police interviewed the man, they determined the box was harmless, according to the blotter. Police released the man who took his art project along with him. Apparently the man had no idea how the project could potentially scare people, Witt said.
“Putting a big box right under a bridge? Yeah, you might scare some people,” Witt said. “He just hadn’t thought of it that way.”