From Here to There: High Trestle Trail Bridge Public Art

Madrid, IA

Services provided on this project:

Art Studio Overview:

The "portals" or vertical elements that form a gateway to the Des Moines River Bridge are sculptural symbols that speak to this geology, the cutting and slicing of nature that forms this river valley. Seen from a distance, they become a destination "icon" that bracket the experience of crossing the river on this expansive trail bridge. Scale is one of the most important elements to the integration of these sculptural features. They must relate in size not only to the length of the span, over 2,300 feet across the river, but also the height above the river valley, represented by massive columns, some nearly 130 feet tall. These icons visually "focus" the trail and set up the concept of entering a mine. Seams of coal appear in lighted veins in the stacked forms on the bridge landings. One is inside the story, surrounded by the sculptural forms that embody history and geology. The changing geometry of the steel cribbing radiates around you. The viewer moves along the path as though moving through history, through the tunnel of a mine. Blue LED fixtures highlight the inside faces of each crib.

Engineering Overview:

Lighting Design Overview:

  • CLIENT: Polk County Conservation Commission
  • COMPLETE: April 2011
  • SIZE:
    35 feet tall x 12 feet wide x 2640 feet long
    • Iowa/ Minnesota Illuminating Engineering Society - Sectional Lighting Award - 2012
    • AIA Iowa Chapter - Excellence in Design Merit Award - 2011
    • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America - National Lighting - Award of Merit - 2012
    • Public Art Network - "Year in Review" Listing of Top 50 Art Projects - 2012
    • Architectural SSL Magazine - Product Innovation Award - 2012
    • DM City View Magazine - Voted: Best Bike Trail - 2014
    • CODAworx - Top 100 Video - 2014
    • The Communicator Awards - Gold Award of Excellence: Film/Video - Documentary - 2015
  • LINKS:
  • View Related Project Types:
    Parks & Recreation,