Grant awarded to make tunnel light and full of art

May 15, 2021 GMT

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — A $15,000 grant has been awarded to Catamount Arts for a project to illuminate and beautify a tunnel linking downtown St. Johnsbury to the riverfront.

The Vermont Arts Council said in announcing the award that the purpose of the grant is “to support the design and installation of a vibrant light and art-filled passage/tunnel.”

Signs, a new pavilion and a recreation path along the Passumpsic River guide users of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail to downtown St. Johnsbury, but getting there means passing through the tunnel, the Caledonian Record reported. The tunnel beneath railroad tracks is dark with graffiti on stone walls and only for one-way use for vehicles, with a concrete sidewalk leading through it.

It’s poorly lit and uninviting to pedestrians, Anne Campbell, education director at Catamount Arts, told the newspaper.

“We’re hoping to change that by activating an underutilized passage and making the drive, bike or walk brightly lit, fun and beautiful!” Campbell said by email.