Park Board approves site for I-35W bridge collapse memorial
On Wednesday, Nov. 3, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board approved West River Parkway as the site for the Remembrance Garden – a memorial to the Aug. 1, 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. The site is directly across from Gold Medal Park, which became a gathering place and de facto memorial site in the days and weeks immediately following the bridge collapse, and where the memorial was originally proposed to be sited.
The design for the Remembrance Garden, unveiled in September, retains many of the features of the memorial first designed for Gold Medal Park, but differs from it in a number of ways: it is now linear in nature, rather than a circle within a square; the water feature has changed from a circular granite table to a linear water wall to complement the new context and design; and names of survivors and those who acted with heroism are now included, engraved on the face of the water feature. Oslund and Associates of Minneapolis designed the Remembrance Garden.
Mayor Rybak committed to building the Remembrance Garden within budget and including an endowment for ongoing maintenance, and to completing it in time for a formal dedication on August 1, 2011, the anniversary of the bridge collapse.
Below are some of the Remembrance Garden’s design features of interest.
- The garden presents 13 I-beams which are illuminated during the evening. The names of the each of the people who lost their lives are engraved on opaque glass faces that cover the inside face of the I-beams.
- Also included in the garden is a water wall element that frames the walkway space as one of the memorial’s focal points.
- The I-beams line an 81’-long linear plaza space with the water wall incorporated to one side. The water wall is very quiet and incorporates a sheet flow of water over its polished surface, offering a visual and auditory meditative focal point to the space. Names of all individuals who were on the bridge that day will be engraved into the surface of the wall, along with an inspirational quote and a dedication.
- Benches bookend the linear plaza space, offering places to rest and contemplate in the garden.
- A path leads from the fountain to the bluff edge, where an observation deck allows views of the river and the bridge through the trees.
- Dramatic lighting — from the I-beams, path lights and water wall — brings a soft glow to the space during the evening hours, for a more intimate and contemplative experience.
- The linear dimension of the space (81’) references the date of the bridge collapse — 8/1.
- The width of the space (13’) references the 13 people who lost their lives.
- The distance of the path to the overlook (65’) references the time of the collapse — 6:05 p.m.
Published Nov 4, 2010