January 21, 2013

Viaducts weren't ALWAYS clean and tidy

In my opinion, this was a heart-felt letter to the editor written by News-Herald staff on June 19, 1985, addressing the then-deplorable condition of the railway viaducts running above Eureka Road near Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte.  Every year when the Wyandotte Street Fair would roll into town, Eureka, as the major east-west street, would be traveled by thousands of visitors, most of whom were likely appalled by the condition of these viaducts.  This one may have been the one to finally get the ball rolling and now, of course, they are well maintained with the help of Roosevelt students.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness" goes the adage.  Certainly, it ranks with Mom and apple pie
... However, one blemish on the face of Downriver is the Eureka Road viaducts in Wyandotte.  The weedy growth and graffiti combine with the aging train bridgework to make for an eyesore.
Wyandotte Mayor James Wagner has said that since Eureka is the only major east-west thoroughfare in the city, motorists and pedestrians are confronted with these unsightly conditions.  In fact, Eureka is the principal east-west road Downriver, feeding right into the heart of downtown Wyandotte, where an array of ethnic festivals, shops and outdoor events... attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
... This problem is more than just that of the city ... It is that of Wayne County, which is supposed to maintain Eureka, a county road, but only cut weeds by the viaduct for the first time this year earlier in the month (June).  It is also the problem of Roosevelt High School, whose students use the viaducts as a hangout, sometimes to throw junk at passing cars or to deface the aging structure with graffiti. 
Also at fault are the railroads, whose trains have caused wear and tear on the five viaducts beyond their age. 
(Mayor) Wagner has called for a meeting of all the parties involved.  Pressure should be brought to bear on the county to maintain the viaduct area regularly... Wyandotte Public School officials ought to consider ways to limit access to the viaducts from the Roosevelt parking lots.
... For far too long now, men and women with responsibility have let the viaducts go to seed.  However, the Project Pulchritudes (a Downriver cleanup project of the time) of the area have proven infectious in heightening community awareness.
If our civic and business leaders make good on their concerns by restoring the viaducts to their original condition, we suspect the graffiti-mongers will take their activities elsewhere.

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