There may be no better poster child for showing how expressways can divide a community than I-75 and Corktown/Mexicantown.
At this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, Bagley Street west of I-75 was closed to vehicles and packed with revelers in a huge community celebration. On the other side of I-75, Bagley was devoid of people. Even the coffee shop was closed.
It’s so apparent how I-75 and the Ambassador Bridge facilities have split these Southwest Detroit communities, but especially for those on foot or on bike. Re-connecting Bagley would certainly be a positive step forward.
MDOT is taking that step. As part of their Gateway project, they are building a bike and pedestrian bridge over I-75, making Bagley Street contiguous once again.
For cyclists, Bagley is already a decent road to ride. It has low traffic and low speeds. Bagley east of I-75 will eventually have bike lanes as part of the Corktown/Mexicantown Greenlink Project.
Some of the many outstanding cycling destinations along Bagley include Clark Park, La Gloria Bakery, Los Galanes, Honey Bee Market, Cafe Con Leche Coffee House, Matrix Theatre, and my favorite Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Lupitas.
Bagley Pedestrian Bridge Concept from MDOT
MDOT Seeks Artists To Create Art Along Bridge
The Michigan Department of Transportation is seeking qualifications from Michigan artists interested in creating public art at two locations near the Bagley Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, which is currently under construction in Detroit’s Mexicantown community.
The design award-winning Bagley Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, which connects the east and west sides of Mexicantown, will be used primarily by local residents, particularly during festivals and special events. International visitors crossing the border to the United States from Canada also will frequent the site because it is home to the new Detroit Mexicantown International Welcome Center and Mercado.
Artists are sought to create artwork for two locations near the pedestrian bridge, at a projected cost of $50,000, possibly up to $100,000.
Deadline for submissions is Dec. 1, 2008. Applicants must submit 10 examples of past work in either 35 mm slides or digital files, a work sample narrative, an artist’s statement about the applicant’s approach to the project, and a resume including three professional references.
Applicants will be evaluated on their conceptual approach in a “summary of the artist” statement; professional qualifications and experience; proven ability to take on a project of this scope; the artistic quality of their work; durability of past installed work; and demonstrated ability to with government agencies, engineers, committee and community groups in the creation of a project.
One or several artists may be chosen to create work for one or both sites depending upon the cost of the art medium they propose. The bridge, locations for artwork, and dimensions of the site, are illustrated online at www.Michigan.gov/gateway (http://www.michigan.gov/gateway) at the link to “Public Art” for the Bagley Pedestrian Bridge.
Applications must be delivered no later than Dec. 1, 2008, to the following address:
ATTN: Bagley Pedestrian Bridge Application
Regina Flanagan, Bagley Public Art Project Manager
7900 International Drive, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55425-8910
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