In a somewhat ironic twist, a public art piece titled “Traffic,” commissioned in 2004 for Roslindale, is finally ready to be installed after facing yet another potential roadblock.
Steve Gag, president of the nonprofit Roslindale Village Main Street organization, explained the latest issue in a release.
“Dig Safe did their final inspection last week and detected a large NStar conduit box two to four feet below the surface, right in line with where the sculpture is to be installed. This is a major problem since the foundation for the sculpture will be eight feet below the surface,” said Gag.
“Fortunately, we did an excavation two years ago that clearly showed no utilities running under the site,” he said. “However, based on what Dig Safe found, our contractor wouldn't take the risk of using power equipment and required a substantial amount of additional money to hand dig the hole.”
Since Main Street didn’t have the extra funds to pay the contractor, Gag literally took matters into his own hands and dug the hole himself.
“On Wednesday, I went down four feet and when I finished, I proudly sent off proof in a couple of pictures to the engineer overseeing the project,” said Gag. “His reply was ‘Can you make it five feet?’”
After doing so, the organization is now waiting to hear back from the contractor about when the installation will occur. The hope is that it will get a green light next week.
The sculpture, which was supposed to be installed earlier this week, has been a long time coming. In 2004, Roslindale residents voted for a public art installation design and artist George Greenamyer won the bid. Other delays over the years have involved contracts and safety issues, as well as a lengthy fundraising process.
The elevated wind-driven sculpture design will be installed at the traffic island at the intersection of Belgrade Avenue and Corinth and South streets.
A formal dedication ceremony for "Traffic" featuring the artist and hopefully Mayor Menino will be scheduled for some time after the New Year.