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Interstate 35W Bridge Rebuild - Visual Quality
Mississippi River Crossing in downtown Minneapolis

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About the Visual Quality Process
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The Visual Quality Advisory Team includes representatives from the National Park Service, City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park Board; State Historic Preservation Office and the Friends of Mississippi River. The Federal Highway Administration and Mn/DOT's Metro Division Design Build Team, and Offices of Bridge, Technical Support and Environmental Services provide support.

The Advisory Team has developed a list of recommendations for the new bridge. These recommendations have been supplied to the four design-build teams preparing proposals for the project.

The Visual Quality Advisory Team will continue to work with the contracting team selected to design and build the new bridge.

Recommendations: The following qualities should be inherent in the design of the new I-35W St. Anthony Bridge:

  • The new bridge should be an integrated whole in which all elements compliment the overall appearance of the structure.
  • The final design solution should result in an “elegant simplicity” in which the “engineered lines and proportions” are the primary design element.
  • The design elements should exhibit fluid lines in the overall presentation of the bridge.
  • The new bridge should respect, not imitate, the historic and natural setting.
  • The design of the new bridge should compliment the adjacent Tenth Avenue Bridge and the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.
  • Consider the many and varied vantage points from which the bridge is viewed. (from the river and riverfront, from adjacent bridges, from neighboring buildings and residences)
  • Consider the appearance of the new bridge both during the day and at night. (architectural accent lighting should be included in the design solution)
  • Travelers should have a clear sense of a bridge “crossing” that celebrates or communicates that one is crossing the Mississippi River.
  • Recognize that this segment of the I-35W Corridor is the only location within a unit of the National Park Service.
  • Include provisions for future amenities such as the East River Parkway and trail extension to Main Street and the proposed whitewater park.
  • Minimize negative impacts on the neighborhood fabric that could result from revisions to the approaches, exits, and entrances from the freeway.
  • Way-finding or interpretive signage should be incorporated into the roadway/bridge design.
  • The design should integrate "greenscape" to the greatest extent possible.
  • Recognize that the new bridge design itself can be an uplifting, beautiful part of a “memorial”.

 

 

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