Volunteers working to repair eye sore in Plymouth

NOW: Volunteers working to repair eye sore in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- A group of volunteers plan to restore an old, rusty railroad bridge in Plymouth that many people in town call an eye sore.

During the last weekend of June and first weekend of July, a group of volunteers plan to paint a fresh coat of “Rookwood Red” on the viaduct’s side beams and its middle concrete abutment.

Plymouth resident Brent Martin is one of two people who started the community project.

Martin says the city tried to encourage the railroad company to repaint the viaduct, located at the intersection of Michigan St. and Pennsylvania Ave., for more than a decade, but according to Martin, the railroad had no interest because the bridge’s cosmetic look did not impact day-to-day operations.

This past winter, Martin decided to take matters into his hands and look into painting the bridge.

“I’ve gotten so many, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you’re finally doing something about that bridge!'" said Martin.

The project recently received final approval from the city and the railroad company.

“I think if you have a nice piece of infrastructure, it’s an iconic element because it’s right at the entrance to the historic downtown, so it is like the front door,” said Martin. “Having your front door with a nice coat of paint on it is a lot better than having a front door that’s all peeled and rusty.”

Martin hopes the restored bridge reflects all of the other redevelopment going on in Plymouth.

“We’ve got a new River Park Square and the new apartments being built and the Rees theater being renovated and just a lot of good stuff happening,” said Martin. “This is the entrance to downtown, so it doesn’t make sense to have an unsightly entrance when you’ve got all this work to improve your downtown.”

Brad Pennington agrees that the Michigan St. Railroad Viaduct needs some repairs.

“I think any improvement itself is good,” said Pennington. “I know the city has done a lot of improvement through the years. I guess it would be nice if they do this end of town too.”

The long-time resident drives under the bridge almost every day. He thinks its current looks gives people the wrong impression of Plymouth. Pennington believes a fresh coat of paint and clean up around the bridge would do wonders for the town.

“Unless you live in this direction, which I do, you don’t pass this way a lot, but with this new structural stuff here, it might make a difference bringing people into this part of town,” said Pennington.

Martin says the project still needs volunteers. If people would like to participate, click here.

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