The City of Port St. Joe has a new beacon to guide visitors into the downtown business corridor.
On Friday, workers from Monumental Fabrication finished the installation of the new gateway arch over Fourth Street.
The archway was purchased by the city’s redevelopment agency in an effort to direct traffic off of U.S. Highway 98 towards Reid Ave.
Weighing in at over 12,000 pounds, the archway was constructed out of corten steel, commonly referred to as weathering steel.
Weathering steel, also used for the bridge at WindMark, appears rusty but is made to be low maintenance and doesn’t require painting.
The arch, measuring 35-feet wide and 22-feet tall, also contains large polished stainless steel letters that read, “Historic Downtown: Port St. Joe.”
According to Alex Henderson, the owner of Monumental Fabrication, the design blends the history and the future of Port St. Joe.
Henderson said the rusty-colored weathering steel represents the mill town history of Port St. Joe, while the bright shiny stainless steel letters represent the newer tourist driven version Port St. Joe.
The arch took eight weeks to design and construct, with Henderson constructing a scale-study before construction began.
Monumental Fabrication, based out of Port St. Joe, travels throughout the East Coast designing and creating all types of metalwork, from the practical to the artistic.
While the main structure is up, there is still some work to be done, according to Bill Kennedy, the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency’s director.
A sealant will be put on the structure, as well as the installation of plants and lighting at the two bases.
The official ribbon cutting for the arch will be at 2 p.m ET, August 21.
Following the ribbon cutting, visitors will be able to see the solar eclipse.