Decorative manhole covers planned for Fredericton

The City of Fredericton is getting new, decorative manhole covers later this year.

Winning design by Robert Scullion depicts historic City Hall

Robert Scullion, left, who designed the winning manhole cover, poses with Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside and Trent Brewer, manager of the city's water and sewer division. (Courtesy of City of Fredericton)

The City of Fredericton is getting new, decorative manhole covers later this year.

They depict historic City Hall with trees and flowers, as well as the St. John River flowing behind, and the valley walls reaching up to meet the rising sun.

The design, unveiled on Wednesday, "captures the heritage and natural beauty of the city," according to the selection committee at City Hall.

It was created by local self-employed graphic designer Robert Scullion, who will receive $1,000 for his winning entry.

The city received 65 submissions from students, engineers, architects and artists in the manhole design competition — a first for the city.

The intent of the project is to connect art and culture with public works infrastructure, city officials said.

The new manhole covers will be installed where needed during this year's construction season, they said.

"Where possible these covers will be used in heritage areas, on tourist trails, and in slow traffic but high profile areas so that people and visitors can enjoy them," the city said in a statement.

"There will be no extra cost to the Water & Sewer Division for doing this; it is part of the annual cover replacement program to replace damaged/worn out covers."

Fredericton installs between 200 and 300 covers per year, including replacements and those located in new developments.

There are more than 7,500 utility covers located throughout the city.