The 204th Street roundabout is nearing completion and received a public artwork on March 12 as part of the Arlington Public Art Fund.
The public art fund receives money from sales tax revenues related to new construction and helps beautify the city.
The 204th Street location was the beneficiary of the most recent public art project in part because it is a public place.
“We knew the new roundabout was a major commuting route in the community,” said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization and communications manager for the City of Arlington.
The artwork is an antique tractor that was donated by Valley Gem Farms. The tractor has not been used for several years and has been sandblasted and painted.
“It was a farm tractor that hasn’t been used for quite some time,” Lopez said. “It represents our story, but we also want it to be a work of art as well.”
Local companies Cuz Concrete and Seven Lakes Towing helped move the tractor and prepare it to be tied up at the roundabout.
Lopez said she believed the tractor sandblasting went well and public art would help the community.
“It gives the neighborhood a sense of belonging, connects it to our history and it’s something to be proud of,” she said.
Some lettering to signify the Kent Prairie neighborhood should also be added to the roundabout project.
“The small concrete wall of the roundabout will also have lettering indicating the Kent Prairie neighborhood as well,” Lopez said.
Jim Kelly, the city’s director of public works, said the roundabout is nearing completion and it is hoped that the area will look more urbanized and organized.
“It’s amazing how one piece of infrastructure can transform this neighborhood and make it more of a community. This infrastructure is functional but it also adds character and this tractor is going to be the icing on the cake, ”said Kelly.
The tractor artwork is part of the first year of public art funding, which included projects like the Arlington Skate Park mural.
“I think the first year went really well. However, we couldn’t do everything we wanted because of COVID, ”Lopez said.
Some first year projects are still delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects, she said.
“We have a lot of fun projects planned for 2021,” Lopez said, including a “peace pole” that will include glass mosaic elements to be installed near the grocery store.
Two murals are also planned which will have a “retro postcard” theme.