Matkin Bridge Inauguration
Inauguration of the Matkin Memorial Bridge
The inauguration of the long-awaited Charles William "Bill" Matkin Memorial Trail Bridge over Highway 1 took place Sunday, October 25th, at 2:00 PM.
The bridge was designed by local Structural Engineer Bill Matkin, who also was responsible for designing most of the other Loop Trail bridges. We are honored and delighted to be able to name this marvelous, rainbow-shaped bridge in his memory.
Sustainability and zero maintenance were the deciding factors in the material choice. That is why all-weathering Cor-ten steel was chosen for the bridge structure. The bow string truss design is historical and serves as an elegant gateway into Fairfield.
Plans are afoot to light this structure in the evening hours. Also, a tasteful and aesthetically pleasing plaza on the west side of Highway 1, adjacent to the bridge, is under construction.
Local artist Judy Bales has a hand in all the design elements involved in the plaza.
The day before the inauguration hay provided a walkway around the sticky Iowa mud. (jfr)
Dirt had been moved around to meet the end of the approach, and then it rained. A stone surface will be applied later. (jfr)
It did not rain on Inauguration day, and it was quite pleasant for a change. (jfr)
Waiting for the Inauguration ceremony to begin. (kw)
Gathering around, ready to listen to the speakers. (kw)
Some used the Loop Trail to get here from the south. (jfr)
Ron Blair decides it is time to start. (kw)
Ron Blair, Chairman of the Trails Council, introduces some of the key bridge volunteers. (kw)
Ron Blair thanks all of the hard-working volunteers who performed many different tasks through the years. (we)
A photo op for the volunteers who helped build the approaches. (kw)
Ron Blair gets ready to introduce the first speaker, Ed Malloy, the mayor of Fairfield. (kw)
The mayor spoke about how the trail system contributes to Fairfield's "Quality of Life". (kw)
Derik Wulfekuhle, Director, Fairfield Park & Rec., outlines his maintenance responsibilities for the Loop Trail. (kw)
Now, the first ribbon is cut to open the approaches. (kw)
Fran Matkin talks about her late husband, Bill Matkin, who designed the bridge. (kw)
Some people called him "Overkill Bill" because of the generous structural margins in his designs. (jfr)
Tom Pappin told stories of how Bill helped his construction business, and more. (kw)
The second ribbon cutting, opening the bridge itself. Two of the Matkin daughters help. (kw)
Refreshments are served on the bridge. (jfr).
Everyone benefits from the Loop Trail. (we).
Looking west from the east approach. (kw)
It rained and the freshly plowed dirt is just mud - you will get stuck in it. It will be surfaced with rock. (jfr)
The bridge finish is a natural rust, which protects the steel. No maintenance is needed. (kw)
The inauguration is over. Now look at the Matkin Memorial Plaza photos before you go. (jfr)
Photos by Jeff Fitz-Randolph (jfr), Ken West (kw), Werner Elmker (ew), Oct 2009