Wishbone, RSP Architects

Located in the heart of Minneapolis, the Wishbone is a public promenade over the Mississippi River's only waterfall. The Wishbone utilizes the obsolete lock and dam structure to create a public elevated walkway connecting the east and west sides of the river while providing new access to the water. The place is rich with history; once as the center of industry - first lumber, then flour and more recently, hydro-electric power - and perpetually as a spiritual place for the indigenous people of the Dakota.

Today, the area is increasingly popular with residents and tourists. Millions walk, run and bike along the riverbanks and over bridges. As proposed, the ¾-mile walkway will bring the public closer to the river, creating an intimate connection to the majestic power and beauty of the Mississippi. The project is designed to utilize more than 80 percent of the defunct lock and dam structure, leveraging the industrial past for a public future. The project aligns with many of the municipal long term planning efforts by creating a destination that is thriving, connected, exciting and welcoming.

The landscaped walkway would be free to the public, open year-round and feature a range of programming possibilities. Leaders from Minnesota’s Native American tribes are involved and collaborating with the design team. Several city and county officials are in support of the project moving forward. Initial studies of existing structure, river and site suggest the walkway is possible to construct but further study is necessary.