Building bridges by painting bridges

CENTER TOWNSHIP, Ind. -- Interstate bridges may speed up traffic above, but they usually don’t do much for the neighborhoods, sidewalks, and residents below.

So how does an inner-city bridge that gap?

It can be as simple as paint – lots of it.

If you drive under the I-65 bridges on westbound 30th St., or eastbound 29th St. on the near northwest side, you may have noticed workers adding vibrant colors to the grayish concrete pillars below.

What was dreary, is now a bright bridge between the neighborhoods to the west of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Artist and designer Quincy Owens and others have been putting the finishing touches on the overpass project.

He says this started with one colorful idea, to brighten up the intersection at 38th and Illinois, then a Keep Indianapolis Beautiful crosswalk project at the MLK Center, just north of there, to a much bigger project here on the near northwest side.

The Children’s Museum asked if he could bring his paint, sweat, and artistic strokes to this project. The Museum is actively involved in being a good neighbor here, taking down abandoned homes,  helping to rebuild and build homes,  and now slapping several coats of paint, and pride onto the neighborhood.

Owens says, “I just want to bring color to the whole city…I think that the more people know about their community, the more likely they are to have pride in their neighborhood or a sense of pride in their neighborhood.”

So the next time you’re traveling on West 29th and West 30th Streets take a look, let out a honk of thanks to Owens, dozens of volunteers, and the Children’s Museum for helping to build better, brighter neighborhoods and bridges. 

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