The refurbished Dodge Street Overpass in Omaha, Neb., celebrated its 50th anniversary with a rededication ceremony today. Danielle Kleinhans, PE, PhD, AISC’s vice president of bridges and managing director of NSBA, was in attendance to reaffirm the bridge’s “Most Beautiful Bridge” designation from AISC in 1969, an award category used by the historical version of today’s Prize Bridge Awards program, and unveil a new plaque for the steel bridge. Mayor Jean Stothert and other city officials, as well as students from a neighboring elementary school and relatives of the original architect, Roger DuRand, were also in attendance to recognize the original 1968 dedication of this iconic pedestrian bridge.
“AISC and NSBA are thrilled to see the preservation of one of our historical award winning bridges,” said Kleinhans. “This project is a classic example that using steel creates beautiful yet highly functional works of art that connect communities. We are proud to have been a part of this project through the donation of a new plaque and the donation of the original plaque to Omaha’s Durham Museum to be displayed, preserving the history of the region.”
A neighborhood organization, Friends of the Bridge, formed a private-public effort that raised $150,000 from 150 donors, which helped cover the $340,000 refurbishment cost for the bridge. City of Omaha bridge maintenance funds matched the private fundraising effort. Restoration work included lead-paint removal and repainting, deck resurfacing, base stabilization and new historical and landmark signs.
For more about the bridge restoration, visit www.dodgestreetoverpass.org.