9/11 Memorial Garden taking shape

By Chantal M. Lovell Napa Valley Register

Napa, CA - Work is progressing on Napa's 9/11 Memorial Garden in downtown Napa. J.L. Sousa/Register

Napa, CA – Work is progressing on Napa’s 9/11 Memorial Garden in downtown Napa. J.L. Sousa/Register

Napa, CA — The foundation for the centerpiece of the Napa 9/11 Memorial Garden has been laid and next month, steel beams recovered from the fallen World Trade Center could be raised there.

The City Council was briefed on Tuesday on the status of the memorial that was first proposed in late 2010. “Certainly we’ll have the project done before September 11,” said city senior civil engineer Mark Tomko.

The garden will include low stone walls for sitting and four 24-foot-tall steel girders recovered from the twin tower wreckage.

Construction at the site, located off Main Street next to Kohl’s department store, began in April. Over the past month, old brickwork had been removed and a foundation built.

“G.D. Nielson Construction has been instrumental to this project from the beginning,” Tomko said. “They’ve made us all look good. They’re basically the glue that’s made this all come together. Every time we’ve had a need, they’ve been out there.”

Tomko said numerous other companies have donated time and resources to the project, including but not limited to: Biagi Brothers, Ghilotti Bros. Inc., XKT Engineering Inc., Riechers Spence & Associates, Gordon Huether, Gretchen Stranzl McCann, Summit Engineering, ZFA Structural Engineering and R&S Glazing Specialties, Inc.

“Quite a lot has been donated and a lot of services as well,” Tomko told the council.

The memorial garden is a public-private effort that is being run by the city now, but it was initially the idea of a group of volunteers, who have raised about $130,000 for the project. The city allocated $120,000 from the public art fund.

Just under $20,000 is still needed and the Napa 9/11 Memorial Garden Coalition is working to raise the remaining funds.

“It really took a group effort of not only city folks, but also a lot of businesses and individuals that stepped up to really help figure out how to build this and also those that have been going out to the community and raising money for this particular project,” said Eric Whan, deputy public works director. “We’re on our way to meeting our goal and being able to deliver this project.”

Tomko said he anticipates concrete work at the site will be finished by the end of July and landscaping at the end of August. The panels of glass which will surround the steel beams and include the names of the lives lost in the terrorist attacks are scheduled to be placed by the end of August.

“I’m really proud and as a community we all should be so proud,” Councilman Scott Sedgley said of those who have assisted in the project. “It’s just a testament to what this community does. It makes me proud.”

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