Ornate bridge over I-94 to be dedicated in honor of Sharon Sayles Belton

  • Updated: October 16, 2013 - 6:50 PM
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Former mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton.

Photo: Harkness, Kyndell, Star Tribune

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A pub­lic ded­i­ca­tion is sched­uled next week for a re­fur­bished bridge honoring form­er Min­ne­ap­olis May­or Shar­on Sayles Bel­ton.

The span that car­ries 3rd Avenue S. over In­ter­state 94 just south of down­town will be dedi­cat­ed Tues­day as the “Shar­on Sayles Bel­ton Bridge.”

As part of the fes­tivi­ties, a sculp­ture will be cer­e­mo­ni­al­ly lit on the plaza at the north end of the bridge. The bridge’s ren­o­va­tion in­cludes res­to­ra­tion of the col­ored side­walk, main­te­nance of the bridge fa­cade and rail­ing, and an up­grad­ing of fix­tures to en­er­gy-ef­fi­cient LED lights.

The wov­en metal sculp­ture, ti­tled “Bea­con,” was cre­at­ed by Ja­net Lofquist. The city de­scribes it as sym­bol­iz­ing “how the frame­work of the com­muni­ty and its resi­dents come to­gether to form the fab­ric of a vi­brant city. The sculp­ture’s shin­y steel sur­face is also il­lumi­nat­ed from the in­side, cre­at­ing a mo­saic of chan­ging light, pat­tern and color.”

The 7 p.m. e­vent will in­clude a live musi­cal per­form­ance by Lar­ry Long, Robert Rob­in­son, J.D. Steele and Tonia Hughes.

Sayles Bel­ton was may­or from 1994 to 2001. She was the city’s first fe­male may­or and first black res­i­dent to hold the of­fice. Be­fore be­com­ing may­or, she rep­re­sent­ed the 8th Ward on the City Council for 10 years, the last three as coun­cil pres­i­dent.

Paul Walsh

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