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The final part of a mural project working to re-connect the City of Wilmington is underway

United Neighbots
West Side Grows

A mural is coming to the Delaware Avenue Bridge in Wilmington.

The new installation on the overpass bridge is a partnership between the City of Wilmington and United Neighbors, part of West Side Grows Together.

Cornerstone West CDC President & CEO Sarah Lester has worked closely on United Neighbors’ projects. She says the group was born in 2019 ahead of the recently completed I-95 construction project when community members on both sides of the highway came together.

“We started talking about things we could advocate for as far as improvements along the 95 corridor in Wilmington. And how we could reconnect those communities across the highway or under the highway,” said Lester.

That’s where murals came in. The first on 7th Street was created during a 3 day long event where community members came together to eat, play, and paint.

Over 4 years, United Neighbors has completed five murals on the bridge overpasses between Jackson and Adams Streets.

The 6th and final mural installation will be designed by local mural artist, Christian Kanienberg, who was chosen by a committee of neighborhood residents, the City, local businesses, and elected officials.

The mural will feature Delaware-centric symbols such as the peach blossom, the American Holly, and local rivers.

Lester says all of the entries the committee received were wonderful, and she knows this installation will be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.

“It really reflects a lot of the local character, native plants and iconic places in the general Wilmington area to kind of serve as a welcome sign for the city,” said Lester.

Moving forward, United Neighbors will continue to work to re-connect the two sides of I-95.

Mural art is just one part of the plan.

“It’s really about building pride in the community, and instilling some feelings of ownership over the space. And also getting the opportunity to think longer term,” explained Lester. “Art is a great component, but advocating for investments to support this area that connects these two sides of the city is also important.”

Some of those investments include more streetlights to allow for safe travel across the bridges at night.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021