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Art pieces on Detroit-Superior bridge are in disrepair, and it's the city's job to maintain them

Posted at 5:14 PM, Aug 31, 2016

The city of Cleveland has failed to maintain five environmental art pieces along the Detroit-Superior bridge, allowing them to fall into disrepair and be vandalized.

“It looks like junk," said Gordon Sears who walks the bridge often. "Is it really necessary? What’s it for?"

The city of Cleveland could not explain what purpose the pieces served when NewsChannel 5 started asking questions Wednesday, even though it is its responsibility to preserve them. Nor did city officials know anything about their history. 

"I really don’t know what this contraption might be but there’s a dial underneath so it appears it’s supposed to gage something with the wind," said Richard Boyd, another frequent walker of the bridge. “I wish they would maintain them [the pieces] or replace it.”

According to Greg Peckham, managing director of the Land Studio, a local non-profit organization, the pieces are environmental art. They are meant to teach visitors about environmental conditions on the bridge. A non-profit that no longer exists spear-headed the project to install the five pieces in 2004. But over the years, the responsibility to maintain the art has changed hands multiple times, ultimately leaving it all in bad shape.

“I guess they were kind of nice when they were new, and now they’re kind of like an eyesore,” said Sears.

Peckham said the studio is in the process of trying to repair or replace the art, using $10,000 of private funding. He expects the updated, working art to be in place on the bridge by the end of the year.

"Something should be done with them,” added Boyd.