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DPRA, Muralists Team Up to Beautify Underpass

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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With four major Philadelphia-area bridges in its portfolio, the Delaware River Port Authority is accustomed to overseeing some big paint jobs, but a collaboration this summer with Mural Arts Philadelphia will introduce the agency to a different type of painting.

Three artists, working in two teams, will bring murals to life in the pedestrian and vehicular tunnels running under the Philadelphia side of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, one of DRPA’s structures.

Pedestrian tunnel mural
Renderings: Mural Arts Philadelphia

Brad Carney and Melissa Mandel's mural will feature multiple bridges, Ben Franklin himself, modern-day Philadelphians, bridge-builders and maintenance workers and other symbolism of the city and the river.

The design of the mural to be painted in the pedestrian tunnel will in part pay tribute to those who built the Ben Franklin back in the 1920s. That piece, by Brad Carney and Melissa Mandel, will take up two 1,000-square-foot areas in the 5th Street Pedestrian Tunnel, and will be titled Building Connections Through Time: A Delaware River Port Authority Mural.

The mural will feature multiple bridges, Ben Franklin himself, modern-day Philadelphians, bridge-builders and maintenance workers and other symbolism of the city and the river.

“We are excited to paint the pedestrian tunnel in a way that will capture DRPA interests in a variety of scenes, showing all the connections the DRPA foster[s] within our communities and surrounding environment, through their continued effort and dedication to service and excellence,” the artists said in a statement.

Vehicular tunnel mural

The mural in the vehicular tunnel will be more abstract and geometric.

Mat Tomeszko is responsible for the 1,500-square-foot mural to be created in the 5th Street Vehicular Tunnel. That piece will be more abstract and geometric.

DPRA officials note that in addition to adding to the aesthetics of the underpasses, the murals are expected to deter graffiti.

According to The Courier-Post, the contract for the installation and 10 years of maintenance for the murals will run the Authority $150,000.


Tagged categories: Artists; Bridges; Murals; Tunnel

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