Public Art: Bridges
“Bridges” embraces the old with the new by re-purposing an obsolete County pony truss bridge and turning it into a gathering place for a new riverfront neighborhood in downtown Des Moines. The once functional structure designed to help bring farm produce to the market is wrapped with new technology, a canopy, lighting and imagery to create an iconic destination. With integrated seating, shade and lighting, "Bridges" becomes a place to meet, reflect, observe and relax while creating a gateway into the district. Most Iowan's have fond memories of rural bridges whether it included fishing, watching the water go by or a unique passage along a favorite gravel road. To many people outside of Iowa, our state identity is linked to stories that include bridges. Hopefully, "Bridges" and its integrated setting of Bridges Park, evokes some of those memories and provides opportunities for new stories to be made and shared.
“I had to speak with over a dozen county road supervisors to help find the right bridge,” Reynolds recalls. A sculptural canopy of white steel and Lexan (a thick polycarbonate used for bulletproof shields) shimmers above the bridge in waves of colors that represent those of the nearby river. It also represents the bluegills that swim beneath the waves. A ribbon of soft light surrounding the canopy gives it an ethereal glow after sunset. The sculpture also includes decking made from heavy oak timbers similar to those from the Boone bridge. “It’s old technology wrapped in new,” Reynolds says. - Dennis Reynolds, Source: DSM magazine