New I-35 Bridge Design Focused More on Function, Not Aesthetics


After discussions were had, citizens groups were formed to try and get Minneapolis to hire a starchitect for the job, and the “instead, let’s do it cheap and efficient” route was chosen, the new I-35W bridge has opened in the city and is being met with a collective “Eh.” While we reported on some of the design directions the city was going in on crafting a replacement for the collapsed bridge last year, some of the most positive things said about it seem to fall in line with this: “It doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb” (which feels like an early front-runner for the “Best Midwestern Compliment of 2008” award). Though maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t go crazy with a new design after all:

[Brian Heywood], the art gallery director, said that considering what happened to the old bridge it might have been tacky to replace it with a soaring attention grabber.

“Do we really deserve a showpiece of a bridge?” Heywood asked. “You wonder if we should just say ‘we don’t deserve something too nice.’ We should just build a bridge and be thankful that not more people died.”