Local News

New Landmark Receives State Honor MLK Bridge Recognized by Landscape Architects

Fort Wayne, Ind. – As the city’s grand gateway, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge, celebrates its 5-month anniversary, it is receiving the admiration of the American Society of Landscape Architects. 
The Indiana Chapter of ASLA recently recognized bridge construction partners — architectural firm DLZ Indiana, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the City of Fort Wayne — by presenting the Honor Award for Constructed Works. The award recognizes the bridge’s design for its context and appropriateness; ability to extend the ‘envelope’; innovative ideas; appropriate use of materials and techniques; and continuity and concept.
“The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bridge is so much more than a bridge to span a river. It is a symbol that is drawing our community together and reenergizing our spirit,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “The community has embraced our spectacular bridge, and it’s great to see a professional organization recognize its uniqueness with this award.”
During the planning of the bridge, landscape architects worked with a Memorial Committee composed of Fort Wayne residents, City staff and INDOT representatives.  Designers worked closely on the overall gateway vision that would create a memorial to Dr. King; improve the pedestrian experience; and integrate the bridge with the rivergreenway, Headwaters Park and the St. Marys River.
The bridge’s dynamic design includes 25 plaques with quotes from Dr. King, sculptural etchings, decorative paving, a soaring 50-foot high arch, seating midway across the bridge, landscaping that connects to the trail and headwaters park and state-of-the-art lighting, which displays millions of shades of color.
Monuments on each end of the bridge feature a four by six cast relief of Dr. King, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. Bordering the bridge walkways are decorative stainless steel railings, with and words illustrating Dr. King’s beliefs laser cut into the railing.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge was dedicated on June 4th of this year. More than 2,000 residents turned out for the festivities. You can view photos of the event and bridge by clicking here http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-memorial-bridge, and scrolling down.
The INASLA Professional Awards Program recognizes professional excellence and outstanding examples of landscape architecture by Indiana landscape architects. The MLK Bridge is the only Indiana project to receive the Honor Award for Constructed Works this year.
The judging panel for this year’s awards was from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (INASLA) was founded in 1972.  It is one of 47 regional chapters in the United States.

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