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Sculptures co-designed by Spokane artist killed in windstorm debut at U-District Bridge

Local artist Lea Anne Scott, who was killed during the 2015 windstorm in Spokane, helped design the sculptures beside the University District Gateway Bridge.

Two new sculptures co-designed by local artists are showing Spokane from a new perspective.

Much like the iconic sculpture in Chicago known as “The Bean" or "Cloud Gate,” the new Rooted and Soaring sculptures on the north and south side of the University District Gateway Bridge allow people to see themselves and their surroundings reflected.

On the north side of the bridge, the reflection of "Rooted" is anchored toward the ground, while the reflection of "Soaring" reaches toward the sky. The sculptures’ shapes echo one another.

Local artists Shani Marchant, who is known for watercolors and oil paintings, and Lea Anne Scott designed the sculptures.

Scott was killed by a falling tree in her Spokane backyard during the November 2015 wind storm, according to Washington state history encyclopedia HistoryLink. Four other people were killed during the windstorm. 

At least 375 trees across the city were downed by the storm and an estimated 180,000 people were without power in the Inland Northwest. Wind gusts at the Spokane International Airport were recorded at 66 to 75 mph, which is nearly equivalent to that of a Category 1 hurricane.

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Scott’s work now lives on in Spokane and many public spaces across the United States.

The University District Bridge opened to pedestrians and bikers in mid-December after delays throughout the building process. The bridge connects Spokane’s East Sprague area to the University District. 

In late September, city leaders said the project was about six weeks behind schedule. The project was in the works for a decade and the city broke ground in March 2017. 

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The new sculptures will be dedicated during an official bridge ceremony on May 7 from 1 to 2 p.m.