EMERYVILLE (KCBS)— Commuters stuck in traffic on Interstate 80 in Emeryville will finally have Snoopy and the Red Baron to keep them company again.

Berkeley artist Tyler Hoare first put up wooden replicas of the famous Peanuts characters in their airplanes, battling World War One flying aces, back in 1975 and continues to get support from creator Charles Schultz’ family. Now they return to their rightful place at the mud flats.

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Hoare, now 72, builds the sculptures, which last five years at the most, before being washed away by the wind and waves is now installing the new sculpture at the end of a pier near Chevy’s.

At times he’s had to replace the characters as frequent as every few weeks, depending on the waves and the weather and he’s made more than 30 versions.

Hoare said he first got the idea when he himself was stuck in traffic on I-80, gazing out at the Bay.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

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“I saw that post and I thought [it] really needs something. I thought for a long time a big banana or a dragon and finally the airplane thing. We went away for a holiday, came back and it was a roaring success.”

They’ve been an East Bay icon ever since. Hoare said the long-running project has been the best use of his artwork.

“I can take it and put it in the Bay and a lot of people enjoy it. It’s in the paper and everybody appreciates it. It’s fun to do.”

Hoare said he still shows the sculptures in museum galleries, but that this is something he does strictly for the public.

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