New partnership aims to beautify area overpasses

Michael Bushnell

Kansas City, Missouri 3rd District City Councilman Brandon Ellington and his Legislative Aid Charles Johnson sat down with Northeast Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rebecca Koop and Independence Avenue CID Manager Bobbi Baker-Hughes on Friday June 19, to discuss a new community partnership between the city and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to identify and beautify three I-70 overpasses in Ellington’s district through the medium of mural painting.

The project is an outgrowth of the Northeast Chamber’s HNE Mural program that has been hugely successful in showcasing local artists through the painting of murals that help identify the community and make positive contributions to the area’s economic development.

According to Ellington, three overpasses along the I-70 corridor have been identified initially for mural beautification: I-70 and Brooklyn, I-70 and The Paseo and I-70 and Troost Avenue.

“I want to roll this out as quick as we can,” Ellington said. “After those first bridges get done, we want to expand the program because not only does it help MoDOT in terms of reduced maintenance costs but it also speaks to increased tourism in our area.”

Northeast Chamber of Commerce CEO Bobbi Baker-Hughes was thrilled to be used as a template for the new program. “We appreciate that you’ve taken notice of our murals along the Avenue,” she told Ellington. “With close to twenty-five murals along the Independence Avenue corridor, all painted by local artists, we’re very proud to be used as a model for a new community partnership.”

The new program is due to be rolled out early next week.

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