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Released: 11/7/2018 

Colorful Murals celebrate the community, pay homage to past and present bridge workers

New Murals Craft a Better Transportation Experience for Pedestrians, Motorists

Two new murals, which adorn the walls of the 5th Street Vehicular and Pedestrian Tunnels located beneath the Ben Franklin Bridge, were unveiled during a dedication ceremony on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

The public was invited to see the artwork up close during the event, which was held at 5th and Race Streets in downtown Philadelphia.

“The Delaware River Port Authority has a strong commitment to building community and supporting community initiatives. The development and installation of these murals helps to strengthen that commitment,” said DRPA CEO John Hanson during the ceremony.

The murals were created in partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia and were commissioned from local artists Brad Carney, Melissa Mandel and Mat Tomeszko. Carney and Mandel collaborated on a detailed whimsical design for the pedestrian tunnel, which occupies two 1,000 square foot areas, while Tomezsko created a 1,500 square foot colorful, symmetrical mural for the vehicular tunnel.

"Today is about not only about celebrating these murals, but celebrating the people who built them and maintain them," said Mandel.

The murals serve as visual enhancements for the surrounding community and utilize art to craft a better transportation experience for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. The designs also pay homage to past and present behind-the-scenes bridge workers, celebrate the varied communities linked by DRPA bridges and promote the Authority’s mission of stewardship, service and community.

“These murals will hopefully serve as an enduring monument to the DRPA’s transportation mission, the legacies of our current, past and future generations of employees who work hard every day to deliver public services, and to the communities we serve,” said Hanson.

The family-friendly event featured food vendors, face painting and a performance by the West Powelton Steppers.


John Hanson, DRPA CEO; Valerie Bradford, DRPA Bridge Director; Mat Tomezsko, Vehicular Muralist; Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia; Brad Carney, Pedestrian Muralist; Melissa Mandel, Pedestrian Muralist


Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia provides remarks along with Valerie Bradford, DRPA Bridge Director and John Hanson, DRPA CEO.


Valerie Bradford, DRPA Bridge Director

Mat Tomezsko, Vehicular tunnel Muralist


Melissa Mandel and Brad Carney, Pedestrian tunnel Muralists


Pedestrian tunnel tour

Vehicular tunnel tour



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