Glass Bottles Shatter and Spray Paint All Over Slough Bridge, Says Caltrans
Yesterday, motorists (this reporter included) noticed a fresh coat of paint splattered over the northbound side of Slough Bridge. Well, Caltrans thinks it may have found the cause.
Photos and information from Caltrans District 1:
Remember all the paint that started showing up on our bridges and highways about a year ago? Some more recently showed up on the northbound Eureka Slough bridge along U.S. Highway 101 in Humboldt County.
Previously, we mentioned that we had concerns about paint running off of the bridges and into our natural resources, such as our rivers, lagoons, and bays, causing damage to the area’s ecology. We also cited safety concerns that wet paint may, conceivably, cause traction issues for some road users. We ALSO noted that wet paint can be splashed up onto vehicles, requiring the paint to be quickly washed off before it could cause damage to paint jobs or undercarriages. Furthermore, it does pose a distraction to drivers; any time you take a second to check out the paint splashes and you think “oh, that’s different,” you’re not paying attention to the vehicles around you or the conditions on the roadway ahead. Paint splashed on the center line of a bridge also contributed to a collision near Rio Dell last year, when a driver noted that they had difficulty being able to tell where their lane ended prior to the collision occurring.
We’d suspected that the vandals responsible for the damage had been using balloons to splatter the paint along the roadway, but when we headed out to document today’s damage, we finally found that this most recent round of vandalism utilized glass bottles filled with paint.
The bottles shatter, splattering the paint across the bridge and leaving a bunch of sharp glass shards along the side of the road. This poses a considerable hazard to the motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians who regularly use the bridge. Bike tires are especially vulnerable and can easily be punctured by the glass, putting cyclists at risk on the highway. Many pedestrians use the bridge to cross from Jacobs Avenue into Eureka, and they’re not all wearing the durable work boots that our crews are. And yes – that glass can wind up in our bay, as well.
If you have information about who may be responsible, please contact us at 707-445-6600 or contact law enforcement (EPD: 707-441-4060, CHP: (707) 822-5981).