$1000 Reward for Road Painting Vandals, Says Caltrans

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Photo courtesy of Caltrans

Could you use a $1000?

Information from Caltrans:

In addition to the Eureka Slough Bridge, the northbound Paul E. Mudgett Memorial Bridge on U.S. Highway 101 near Rio Dell in Humboldt County was once again recently vandalized with paint.

The newest concern regarding these occurrences is that the vandals are shattering glass bottles filled with paint in order to commit their crimes.
The sharp glass shards can pose a considerable hazard to motorists who regularly use the bridge — nobody wants to see a flat tire cause a collision of any kind.

On top of that, we’re concerned that paint could run off of the bridge and into our natural resources. We’ve also cited concerns that wet paint may cause traction issues for some road users, it can splash up onto vehicles causing damage to paint jobs or undercarriages, it can be a distraction to drivers, and — as you can see from the photo — it can cover safety markings on the road. Paint splashed on the center line of this same bridge contributed to a collision last year, when a driver noted that they had difficulty being able to tell where their lane ended prior to the collision occurring.

The biggest new takeaway: It has come to our attention that an upstanding and anonymous donor has offered up a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for these possibly felonious crimes.

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).



  • There are multiple people doing it (just a wild guess). How much money does “upstanding and anonymous donor” have?

  • Glass bottles? No one thought of balloons?
    Hopefully just one busted will put a stop to it.

  • I like it . I hope they don’t get caught

    • [edit] it’s not only wet paint after it drys all the dust worn paint falls in the water.stopit

    • Did you read the part where it contributed to a collision? This isn’t just lame decor, it confuses motorists. Whoever is doing it should take up fingerprinting instead.

  • I hope more people start doing it. Just a few days ago I was heading back from willits, and when I saw the first color on 101, I got the warm feeling of returning home.

  • How about spend $100 on a camera and send tickets to the folks doing this?

  • perps should be shot by paint ball firing squad! NOW DANCE MF! (just kidding)

  • I don’t understand why Caltrans doesn’t get a bag of river sand, a compressor and a sandblast nozzle, and remove that multicolored mess the instant it appears. When vandals don’t see their work laying around for years afterwards, there is less incentive. This is common knowledge and graffiti removal programs work.

    I don’t understand why they’d be so chuffed about 2 cups of dry paint chips (atomized/per bridge) in the river. It’s nothing to keep you awake at night, there’s far more pollution coming out the tail pipes of the cars and there will be hella more the instant those colors cause any kind of a collision with gasoline/diesel dripping into the waterways. So get with the total ecosystem cost and please get this crud off our roadways.

    If you need any further incentive, it’s “non-approved paint markings” on the official public pavement… if you’re allergic to sand, they also make a nice corn cob biodegradable material for blasting; also recycled powdered bottle glass and water is used to make a totally dust free graffiti remover… just dial up some youtubes and watch how it’s done.

  • The only reason I’d narc on these people is because they used glass bottles, that’s not cool, other then that I think it’s pretty.

  • I think the collision story is bs. Mostly people doing this do use balloons or paper cups with lids (think takeout coffee). So much other crap goes into the river to worry about paint flakes from this is ludicrous.
    CALTRANS is pretty much a destructive grouch that wants to pave the world & much more of a danger to wildlife & the river than PAINT.

  • Just a thought put up game camera on the bridge s duh .

  • William Jefferson Clinton

    I saw him!

  • concerned citizen

    Maybe the vandals, yes vandals, should do this to their cars and houses instead. This is not art, there are better ways of expressing yourself than this.

  • How about some kind of steak out by authorities the next time some regurgitated grateful dead cover band is playing is playing in Arcata? The last big paint blasting of the northbound bridge happened when a dead cover band was playing in Arcata. My bets were that the “artists” attended the show that nite.
    P.s. Long live the dead!

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