Bridge, sculpture to be dedicated to former Mayor Sayles Belton

Former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton will be honored Tuesday with a public dedication of a sculpture and the 3rd Avenue bridge over I-94.

The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired bridge will be formally dedicated as the “Sharon Sayles Belton Bridge” at a ceremony at 7 p.m. at 3rd Avenue & 16th Street East.

The rededication is part of a series of renovations and updates on the bridge, which was built in 2000 during Sayles Belton’s time in office.

Other renovations include upgrading the lighting to energy-efficient LED lights, restoring the colored sidewalk and general maintenance of the bridge’s railings and façade.

“Beacon,” a sculpture created by Janet Lofquist, will be lit from the inside during the dedication to reveal a medley of changing color, light and pattern. The metal matrix “symbolizes how the framework of the community and its residents come together to form the fabric of a vibrant city,” according to a City of Minneapolis news release.

The dedication will also feature a live performance by Larry Long, Robert Robinson, JD Steele, and Tonia Hughes.

Sayles Belton served as Minneapolis mayor from 1994 to 2001. Much of her focus was on the arts and urban vitality. She was the first female and first African-American to hold the position. Before becoming mayor, she was the representative for Ward 8 on the City Council for 10 years and council’s president for her final three.

Laura Marrinan is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota. Learn more about the Murphy News Service at