The Iowa West Foundation and PACE partnered to help spruce up the Bayliss Park area for this weekend’s Railroad Days celebration.

Four local artists collaborated to create the designs to decorate the crosswalks leading to the four corners of Bayliss Park, the site of a number of Railroad Day activities on Saturday and Sunday.

Revolution Wraps of LaVista, Nebraska, then transformed the artists’ concepts into graphics — all of which deal with some segment of Railroad Days’ focus on the 150th anniversary of the first national transcontinental railroad — that could be adhered to the crosswalks.

Iowa West Foundation Vice President Matthew Henkes said the material used for the crosswalk decorations is actually a thin metallic material that is being used in Council Bluffs for the first time. The material has a rough texture to avoid slipping.

Henkes said the decals installed around Bayliss Park are part of the Iowa West Foundation’s public art project. He said the goal, in addition to the effort to enhance the Railroad Days celebration, is part of the effort by PACE and the foundation to integrate art into peoples’ lives on a daily basis.

“We’re hoping it will help bring people out and get them involved in the community,” Henkes said of the effort.

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As the crosswalk decals were being installed Wednesday afternoon, an unknown driver spun his tires in an obvious effort to damage the crosswalk decal that had been installed earlier in the day at the intersection of Pearl Street and First Avenue. While his effort left a tire mark on the decal, it did not tear the surface. Witnesses provided a description of the car involved in the incident to authorities.

Henkes said that the owner of Revolution Wraps offered to replace the decal at no charge.

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