“The Fountain” has been chosen as the winning design for the $800 million Signature Bridge project in downtown Miami. The selection was made by FDOT which controversially shunned public opinion. The winning concept, which was inspired by Miami's location serving as a gateway to South America, came from a joint venture team led by Archer Western- de Moya. The bridge would feature color changing LED's on the cables and arches and will feature a 55-acre public park beneath which will be known as Heritage Trail. Construction will begin in late 2017 with completion estimated in 2022 but a formal protest from the 2nd place team which lost by a mere 1/2 point may delay the project. The press release states:
"The Fountain concept was inspired by Miami’s world renowned status as the center of the Americas. Miami has been influenced in its development and growth by various regions throughout the United States, the Carribean, as well as Central and South America due to its position as the Gateway City. In 1930, Pan American Airways established Miami as its worldwide headquarters with its terminal at the current City Hall, and provided the initial links that opened up the potential of Miami’s waterfront to all of the Americas. The Fountain’s design symbolizes these influences similar to an “airline map” depicting the curved travel paths to and from the central city of Miami.
The Fountain was aptly named to signify Miami’s connection to the water that began several thousand years ago with the Tequesta Indians and continues to this day with the tens of millions of visitors that make Miami their warm weather destination for the sun, beach, cruises, vibrant nightlife, and culture. The bridge is designed using contextual metaphors drawn from the region’s tropical and urban environments. The overall vision for this signature bridge is to emphasize the essence of Miami as a center for the Arts, with this structure as its nexus, making it a focal point of civic life for all Miamians, and what will become the heart of Miami for our children and grand-children.
The Fountain Bridge also provides vast open spaces below the bridge allowing for the development of our proposed Heritage Walk. Heritage Walk memorializes Miami’s history including the original Tequesta Indian inhabitants, Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler, the original African American settlers to Overtown, the Cuban immigration, and Miami’s status as a global city with limitless potential through culture, art, and bold imagery."