Mobile Mural Unveiled on the Hollywood Freeway (US 101)
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District 7’s Maintenance Division and the Transportation Art Program initiated the Mobile Mural Demonstration (MMD) Project by unveiling a portable mural replica of the Galileo, Jupiter, and Apollo along the northbound Hollywood Freeway (US 101) on Tuesday, July 20, 2010.
Local media along with representatives from the City of Los Angeles, Wells Fargo, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) were all in attendance to witness the beginning of a new way to combat vandalism while improving the landscape along Los Angeles freeways and reducing traffic disruptions.
Using $20,000 in grant funds from Wells Fargo, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) and Caltrans worked in conjunction to create a 1/3 scale a mural replica of the Galileo, Jupiter, and Apollo mural that once adorned the northbound side of the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) between Spring Street and Broadway since 1983. The funding will support replication, transportation, and maintenance costs. The replica is 75 foot long, 9.5 feet tall, 60 lbs. mural, and is made of plastic and vinyl. The mural replica will remain in place for a 90-day period, after that, the mural will be taken down and the overall program will be evaluated.
“The Mobile Mural Demonstration Project gives Caltrans the ability to work with communities and businesses like Wells Fargo to improve the look of the freeway landscape, make necessary upgrades, and save tax dollars,” said Dan Freeman, deputy district director of Maintenance. Damage caused by vandals along Los Angeles freeways costs Caltrans millions of dollars annually.
Previously, a lane closure would have to be established and then k-rail placed to close the shoulder for an extended amount of time. The mural can now be mounted and removed for periodic cleanings without impeding traffic. The material should be able to resist most paint types that could be sprayed on to it.
"Our freeway system is a river of humanity and we need those beautiful vistas along the way," said Los Angeles Councilmember Tom LaBonge, a longtime supporter of Caltrans efforts. “Vandalism has ruined some of our finest murals, but this program will allow us to keep our views graffiti-free. When I drove the 101 today, I thought the mural resembled a framed painting hanging in a La Cienega art shop. It was great to see John Wehrle's art hanging on our wall again.”
“We have a LA Live area that has been revitalized and is beautiful, and we wanted to bring that same kind of improvement throughout the entire city,” said Mark Ingram, Wells Fargo executive vice president of corporate properties.
The mural was originally painted by muralist John Wehrle in 1983 for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The material for the mural was made by Tarzana based, Fence Fabric.