Stetson Kennedy Memorial Bridge

Location

Fruit Cove, FL

Status

Design Completed 2005

Client

The Stetson Kennedy Foundation

Cost

The pedestrian bridge is the first part of an architectural program serving as a memorial to the ideals of the Stetson Kennedy Foundation: “… to do all that it can to help carry forward mankind’s unending struggle for human rights in a free, peaceful, harmonies, democratic, just, humane, bounteous and joyful world, to nurture our cultural heritages, and to faithfully discharge our commitment of stewardship over Mother Earth…”

The project site, near Jacksonville, is significant both as a point of arrival to the foundation and a refuge for wildlife species. It also serves as a literary and artistic refuge for the client, an eminent human rights pioneer who infiltrated and exposed the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups.

The bridge is fabricated from materials compatible with the surroundings. As a means of optimizing the efficiency of the structure, wood microlam sections are spaced apart with steel spacers in order to increase rigidity and reduce weight. Stainless steel joints spliced into the sections reinforce the high stress areas and facilitate fabrication. Each finger forms a rigid section resistant to winds and excessive movement typical of suspended structures.