Michigan Street railroad viaduct

Traffic flows under the Michigan Street railroad viaduct in downtown Plymouth on Friday.

PLYMOUTH — The final push is on for volunteers and donations for the Michigan Street viaduct beautification project in Plymouth.

Warsaw-based architect and Plymouth resident Brent Martin, one of the organizers behind the push to refurbish what’s generally considered to be a Plymouth eyesore, said Friday that they have enough volunteers for the first weekend of the effort, which is the last weekend in June.

Along with the last weekend June, work will be done during the first weekend in July. Martin said they’re still seeking volunteers for that second weekend.

“We are close to being ‘set’ for volunteers – first weekend A-OK – second weekend a few more on Saturday would be a good idea,” Martin said via email. “It’s hard to say how long someone is ‘good’ for wielding a grinder, so (it) can’t hurt to have more volunteers and just change out as people get tired. Day two – paint day – is not as tiring.”

Organizers hope to clean and paint the faces of the girders and the abutment in the middle of the street.

Martin said cash donations are also still needed. While they have raised the anticipated $2,000 needed for the project, organizers are hoping to build financial wiggle space.

The Marshall County Community Foundation has agreed to be the recipient of the donations.

“We have reached our goal of $2,000 in pledges – not all of that has arrived yet at the Community Foundation, so a cushion isn’t a bad idea,” Martin said.

Martin previously said Sherwin Williams has agreed to give organizers a 66 percent discount on paint supplies. About a little more than $500 will be spent on paint, and other funds will go for wire wheels, hand and eye protection, garb, clean-up products and other supplies.

“The outpouring of support, both financially and physically, is wonderful to see,” Martin said. “I’ve gotten so many emails and phone calls — (it) says a lot about the Plymouth Community.”

Martin’s architecture firm, SRKM, is donating $275 to cover the cost of the application fee with the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad.

“We have the right-of-entry permit from the railroad,” he said. “They do not sign it until they review the insurance documentation — and get a $300 check for a ‘railroad rider’ on insurance — which was sent earlier this week. So we will follow up next week to see if there are any remaining questions.”

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer smcgrath@thepilotnews.com 574-936-3101 ext. 109

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