Pedestrian bridge construction, Red Wing, Minn.

Mayor Mike Wilson declared next week to be National Public Works Week in the city of Red Wing. 

The new pedestrian bridge has officially been named: the Red Wing Riverview Skyway. The Arts and Culture Commission was tasked by the City Council to develop a recommendation for the name of the new bridge. 

Brian Peterson is the commission’s chair. He appeared before the City Council on Monday, Aug. 23, to discuss the naming process and recommendations.

“What we decided on is we wanted to focus on three criteria, I guess. One is that we wanted this name to really help with the place making of that location. So, something that would be identifiable. The second thing is we wanted it to be real clear about what this bridge is and the reverse of that, the third, we wanted to say what it isn’t, too,” he said.

Peterson noted that with the recently finished Eisenhower Bridge of Valor and other local projects, the commission wanted to ensure that the pedestrian bridge was distinguishable from other overpasses. 

The name recommended by the commission was the Red Wing Riverview Skywalk. 

Peterson explained the reasoning behind the recommendation: “We came up with three options that we thought tell about this location, this place. We think that the view from the river is really the biggest character that this bridge has… . It has a fabulous view of the river.”

With the river in mind, the commission came up with “River View,” “Harbor View and “River Bend.” 

The commission didn’t want to call it the “Riverview Bridge” because members thought it would be shortened to “the bridge” and then people would confuse the numerous local bridges. So, they got creative and decided to recommend “skywalk” to give the bridge a unique name and a name that helps to define it. 

Council member Kim Beise raised the concern that if the word “skywalk” was included in the name that people would think the bridge is solely for walking instead of offering a path for walkers and cyclists. 

Beise said of the bridge, “We've tried to make it inclusive. And this kind of narrows it to pedestrians.” 

The council agreed with Beise that they wanted it to be clear that bicycles will also be welcome on the bridge so they landed on “skyway.”

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