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

I-35W Bridge Collapse New I-35W Bridge Original Plans I-35W Bridge Inspections, Reports and Contracts Contact Us
About the Visual Quality Process

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”.