The artist served on the design team for the Rio Salado Gateway Project. The design team created a Master Plan for the Rio Salado that includes Gateway Plazas, which serve as points of connection between major roadway crossings over the Rio Salado and the Rio Salado riparian corridor and trail system.
The “Layers of Time" tiles adorn the columns of the plazas' shade structures. These monochrome concrete relief tiles were molded from found objects, some of which were donated by area residents. They reflect five stages of history along the river: geology, natural history, Native American culture, European settlement and agriculture, and the contemporary, multicultural urban environment.
Strich also created green, cut steel panels that are installed within the railings along the edges of the semicircular plazas. The panels incorporate different patterns derived from the desert riparian environment, connecting the plazas to the reconstructed riparian habitat within the Salt River corridor.
Strich designed streetlights for the gateway plazas and the bridge crossings within the project zone. The streetlights adjacent to the plazas include specially-designed banner attachment arms.