Client: City of Webber Falls
Location: Webber Falls, OK, United States
Completion date: 2003
Artwork budget: $180,000
Manhattan Construction Company
Oklahoma Dept. Transportation
On May 26th 2002 the I-40 Bridge in Oklahoma was hit by a barge. 14 people lost their lives, including a 3-year-old child. Shahla worked with The City of Webbers Falls, The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, FEMA, Army Core of Engineers, Cherokee Nation and 2 Civil Engineering Firms on this project. A 14 sided black granite pedestal was engraved with the names of the victims; an actual bridge girder was used to create a broken bridge to hold the bronze sculpture with a dove. The 5 columns represent the 5 survivors of the incident.
The focal point of this project is a steel beam from the bridge girder that collapsed with a sculpture on top of it. The repair and rebuilding of the bridge was coincidental with the memorial project. This was important for both projects to be completed quickly, the bridge needed completion for transportation and the memorial need completion help the victims families find closure.
During this project the artist had to work with several state and federal agencies in addition to private contractors and suppliers. The artist designed the site plans and worked with an engineer to complete the project.
The memorial was dedicated by Governor Brad Henry and Chief Justice Watts on the one year anniversary of the incident.