MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Renderings for a proposed walkway over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis were released to the public during a Hennepin County Board’s Public Works meeting Tuesday.
Designed by RSP Architects, “Wishbone” would span three quarters of a mile at St. Anthony Falls and along Horseshoe Falls. It’s not yet known how much construction of the walkway would cost.
The location of the promenade is historically significant because Native Americans lived and portaged around the falls for centuries. Their sacred Spirit Island was once there before time and industry changed the landscape of the area. Planners say they are now working with leaders from Minnesota’s Native American tribes to guide their ideas.
More than 80% of the walkway would be supported by a structure from the recently-closed lock and dam in the river, according to RSP.
Initial studies of the existing structure indicate that the walkway is possible. But an RSP release says the designers will need more time to answer questions about the structure’s “buildability and historic/environmental impact.”
“Accessible from both sides of the river, the hope for the landscaped walkway is that it would be free to the public, open year-round and feature a range of programming possibilities,” the release says.
The proposal will now move into a stage where officials analyze its feasibility and ask for the public’s input. Questions remain about who will pay for the walkway, who would own it, and how it would be maintained.