[Audio] ***Update*** Mora Resident Among Those Honored in 35W Rememberance Garden
Minneapolis – Governor Tim Pawlenty and Mayor R.T. Rybak today announced details of a “Remembrance Garden” which will serve as a memorial to the victims, survivors, family members and others whose lives were affected by the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge on August 1, 2007.
One of the victims was Mora resident Greg Jolstad, 45, who was working on the bridge when it collapsed.
Hear Comment’s From Jolstad’s Friend, Jim Hallin
The memorial will be located in Minneapolis’ Gold Medal Park, just west of the I-35W Bridge. The park was a gathering place for many Minnesotans in the hours and days following the bridge collapse.
The Remembrance Garden will include 13 upright metal I-beams surrounded by an 81-foot rock square. Within the square will be a 65-foot wide circle plaza surrounding a 13-foot wide black granite round table fountain. Thirteen stainless steel bands will emanate from the center of the fountain, each ending at the base of an individual I-beam.
The features of the Remembrance Garden are symbolic of the lives affected by the bridge collapse. The names of the 13 people who died will be engraved on opaque glass faces on the inside of the 13 I-beams. The 81-foot dimension of the rock square references August 1, the date of the bridge collapse. The 65-foot diameter of the circular plaza references the time of the collapse – 6:05 p.m.
The concept and location of a suitable memorial came about after months of meetings between the families of those who died in the collapse and survivors of the tragedy. The design of the Remembrance Garden was developed when the families and survivors began working with Dr. William McGuire, whose foundation manages Gold Medal Park, and Tom Oslund, the landscape architect who designed Gold Medal Park.
“As we open the new bridge, it is important to keep the victims and the families directly impacted by this tragedy first in our thoughts and prayers,” Governor Pawlenty said. “This memorial will provide a lasting way to always remember loved ones who were lost on that tragic day.”
“Locating this peaceful remembrance garden within Gold Medal Park, near the river, is important,” Mayor Rybak said. “Victims’ families and collapse survivors felt we needed to remember the lives lost and changed that day with a quiet green space, where so many people gathered to draw on communal strength and support in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy.”
“Through the entire visioning and design process, it was essential that we listened hardest to those who were most affected by this tragedy,” said Oslund. “In the end, we created a place that honors those who died, and also recognizes that an entire community was changed.”
The Remembrance Garden designers hope that those who visit the memorial will also use this place to remember those who were on the bridge when it fell but survived the disaster – many who still struggle daily with both physical and emotional injuries as the result of the bridge collapse.
With the design and location of the memorial now determined, funding is required to make the Remembrance Garden a reality. Governor Pawlenty and Mayor Rybak announced the launching of a fundraising effort to raise at least $1 million to construct and maintain the Remembrance Garden, for which the Minneapolis Foundation will serve as the fiscal agent. Financial support will be solicited from individuals, foundations, businesses, and others whose generosity will contribute to building the memorial.
“We are very grateful to the many people who have already stepped forward to contribute to this important effort,” Mayor Rybak said. “Significant support has already been offered by Dr. William and Nadine McGuire, Oslund and Associates, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Capella University, Minneapolis Building and Constructions Trade Council, and Flatiron Construction. Additionally, the City of Minneapolis has already collected thousands of dollars from individuals who previously contributed to the creation of a bridge memorial. We are thankful for this support and hope it will serve as a clear example of what we need to build this memorial.”
Those interested in learning more about the I-35W Bridge Remembrance Garden, viewing images of the design, or making a contribution can go to www.35WRemembranceGarden.org