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:

12891527_1058630380844905_2520685182005134081_oRemember 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).

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10 comments

  • I love the paint. The glass, not so much.
    The paint stays on the bridges and roadways. There is zero evidence of it getting into waterways. Traction issues? Bullshit.
    I love the paint. I think it is joyous & no kind of vandalism.
    Killjoys

    • 100% agreement.

      Most interesting new form of Graffiti art since the stencil. Our grey buildings and highways need color as much as Caltrans workers need a paycheck.. just clean the glass..
      The hyperbole just drips down from above. Paint=vengeful and murderous. Asphalt concrete and car exhaust=apple pie.

      Don’t lie to me sucka.

  • Joyous? How bout anarchic prankster

  • There’s no stupid traction issue.theres bigger issues to tackle.

  • I’d be so pissed if I drove my newly restored 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner triple blk threw it .hope it never happens .

    • If its waxed, it shouldn’t be too hard too clean off. You’d have to unlucky enough to drive through when its wet anyway.

  • Many of the road in Humboldt have had this art for many years.
    “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.”

    All of our building are painted, if paint is a concern in this way, were already fucked.

    “We also cited safety concerns that wet paint may, conceivably, cause traction issues for some road users.”

    Good things its only wet for a very short time.

    “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.”

    Good things its only wet for a very short time.

    “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.”

    Hmm, like bumper sticker, road signs, wildlife, the fucking clouds?

    “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.”

    Sounds like a bullshit excuse to me.

  • Too me this dosn’t even look like any of the past roadway paint splatters. The way the paint trail runs and how they’ve never found glass bottles at the sense before. My guess is something fell from a work truck with paint in it. But personally I love all our rainbow splattered roads!

  • It’s LITTER ! Not art. Ya, looks like sumpin fell off the truck. The TuRNiP TrUk.

  • Nice art, wrong canvas. Glass is a poor choice. The problem with art by or on busy roadways is, it’s a distraction. Also, it’s a form of grafitti, which is often amazing art, and sometimes also in very bad locations (like the side of someone’s business who doesn’t want it there).
    If you want to go all Jackson Pollack – Cool!! Just do it somewhere we can stop and look at it without causing an accident.

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