Dodge Street Overpass wasn't what its...

Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 18:52:27-05

“It's not the St. Louis Arch, but it's the Omaha Bridge,” said Roger duRand.

On a daily basis thousands of cars drive under it and hundreds of people utilize it. 

The Memorial Park Bridge isn't just a Dodge Street and Dundee staple.

“This is a very prominent icon for the City of Omaha and it's above a major street and it's a very distinctive piece of sculpture,” said duRand.

The Omaha icon means a lot to Roger duRand. 

“I think I’m very proud of my father,” said duRand.

William duRand designed the overpass in 1968.  In 1969, the American Institute of Steel Construction named it “The Most Beautiful Bridge.” But, the design wasn't what the late William duRand had envisioned.

“I remember that he was a little unhappy that they changed the design.  He had originally designed it in CorTen steel, a self protecting coating and he also had a heated foot path,” said duRand.

duRand says consequently the city's cost cutting measures made for a bridge that was ultimately going to have to be maintained.

“For about the last year or so we've noticed it has needed some renovation and maintenance work.  That's when we started doing the assessments on the structure and the paint,” said Councilman Pete Festersen.

City Councilman Pete Festersen says the original 1968 lead based paint will have to be removed and the steel re-coated.

Festersen says $75,000 in City Bridge Maintenance Funds have been committed towards the estimated $300,000.   Currently fundraising efforts are taking place.

“We hope that the renovation happens in 2017, then have the 2018 celebration for its rededication.

A facelift just in time for its 50th anniversary.

If you would like to donate to the Dodge Street Overpass fund click this link