The Cities Blog

The 35W bridge memorial is rising

Construction workers for weeks have been at the site on the east bank of the Mississippi river next to Gold Medal Park in downtown Minneapolis.

A crew is working on the wall.


And here's a rendering of the wall and 13 columns memorializing the thirteen people killed at 6:05 p. m. on August 1, 2007 when the bridge collapsed.


A span behind the wall will extend out to the edge of the river bank where some brush and trees have been removed so visitors will be able to see the new 35W bridge.

Here's the city and park board's official description of the plan as of about a year ago:

• 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 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, 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.