Nineteen months after it was hand-painted by students, the once-bright roadway mural at the intersection of Main Street and Ingraham Avenue has faded and carries scars of black tire tracks, but help is on the way. A more durable do-over is planned, courtesy of paint and labor donated by a Longwood business, city officials say.
“Our plan is to have the intersection painted by hand, using rollers,” Traffic Operations Director Angelo Rao said. “A clear coat will then be applied to reduce fading and it will help protect the paint from tire marks. The new paint may not match the existing colors exactly but they will be very similar.”
Angco Striping is donating the paint and labor for the project, city spokesman Kevin Cook said.
The work is scheduled for this Sunday from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. Detours will be marked.
Why didn’t the more-durable method surface, pardon the pun, when the city researched methods to apply the original paint in May 2017?
“The contractor has been experimenting with a brand new treatment and is willing to test it on site at no charge to the city,” Rao said. “This treatment is new and was not available previously to the best of our knowledge.”
Students from Harrison School for the Arts and Rochelle School of the Arts spent the day on May 21, 2017, a Sunday, painting the original mural based on a design by Jemileh Chemaissem, then a 20-year-old Florida Southern junior from Miami majoring in graphic design and advertising/public relations.
The road mural was part of an effort by the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency to rebrand the Main Street corridor east of downtown as an arts district.
At the time, the CRA’s Alis Drumgo said the paint used met transportation standards and was expected to last about two years. Costs for the project were about $500, then-City Commissioner Jim Malless said at the time.
The mural the day it was painted: