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6/6/2010
Councilman Weiner's Citizen Anti-graffiti Brigades tackle "NERD HUMOR" & other graffiti on Route 141 railroad bridge in Greenville - News Journal

Delaware volunteer brigade cleans up a taggers' paradise

Graffiti on Del. 141 to be painted over

BY CHAD LIVENGOOD • THE NEWS JOURNAL • JUNE 6, 2010

A group of New Castle County residents and businesses will begin removing "NERD HUMOR" and other graffiti that's defaced the railroad bridge for years over Del. 141 this week.

Volunteers with the Citizens Anti-graffiti Brigade Program began repainting the substructure of the bridge Saturday.

Starting tonight, one lane of the highway will be shut down at 8 p.m. and remain closed until 5 a.m. while overnight crews repaint the bridge.

Painting will continue each night until the project is complete Thursday, said Mike Ansul, the project manager and owner of Ansul Construction Co.

"Everyone hates this bridge," said Ansul, an anti-graffiti brigade captain from Townsend. "It's been an eyesore for 20-plus years."

"I'm a little embarrassed when I have friends in town and we drive under it. It looks like you're out in the Bronx."

Founded in 2007 by County Councilman Bob Weiner, the anti-graffiti brigade has taken on painted vandalism across the county.

"But we stopped short of the railroad bridges themselves, because of safety concerns," Weiner said.

Ansul said the project's been in the planning stage for six months. All of the paint, environmental testing, equipment and labor is being donated by local companies and individuals, Ansul said.

The East Penn Railroad Co. owns the bridge and is paying for a new fence to be installed to prevent future vandals from crawling out to deface it with spray paint, said railroad president Bob Parker.

Parker said his small railroad company, which owns about 120 miles of rail in southeast Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, could not afford to re-paint the bridge on its own. Parker said community leaders did not want advertising added to the bridge as a way to pay for the repainting.

"Being a small company in these economic times we just couldn't justify the cosmetic remedy in repainting the bridge," Parker said. "We're happy that this solution is coming about."

Contact Chad Livengood at 324-2832 or clivengood@delawareonline.com.

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