By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
If all goes as planned, the ugly salmon-colored Hallandale Beach Boulevard Bridge will soon have its western wall replaced with the image of a manatee and baby pup. The decision to move forward is in the hands of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
The bridge mural, one of ten projects sponsored by Broward 100 Visual Eyes, is part of a yearlong celebration commemorating Broward County’s Centennial. The Hallandale mural was designed by Eduardo Mendieta, a renowned West Palm Beach artist who has produced more than forty large-scale pieces locally and across the country.
The public art project began more than a year ago with the selection of the mural site. Citizen meetings were held to provide input to the artist, followed by Mendieta drafting several images for consideration. At their June meeting, the Hallandale Beach City Commission approved the water-borne manatee and pup design. However, because the mural is located on a highway, the blessing of the state is needed.
FDOT received the request for approval three weeks ago and has 60 days to rule. Once approved, the manatee and baby could be swimming three to four weeks later, weather permitting.
(photo from Hallandale Beach, courtesy)