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Art Student Wins Competition For Philadelphia's New Manhole Covers

By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Philadelphia Water Department announced the winner of the city's first "Medallion and Manhole Cover Competition" on Friday afternoon. The winning design will be used on new manholes placed all across the city, and to help identify green infrastructure tools.

The eight finalists were selected by a committee of judges, with the winning design be selected by a vote of those who came to the river-front ceremony. Tyler School of Art student Lauren Hoover took home the top honor by mixing a cityscape made of pipes with tree roots that spell out water. So what does the honor mean to Hoover?

"Feels awesome knowing that I made a difference, and this is going to be all over Philly. I'm really excited," Hoover said.

While the manhole part of the competition is pretty self explanatory, Joanne Dahme of the Water Department says the inset medallions will be placed near the city's green infrastructure tools.

"Which include things like stormwater tree trenches. So it looks like a tree from the street, but beneath that it's collecting stormwater and infiltrating or holding it while the storm is occurring so we have more room in our sewer system," Dahme said.

Dahme says it's part of the Green City, Clean Water program, a $2.5-million dollar initiative aimed at beautifying the city over the next 25 years.

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