Crews can't keep up with vandalism on Market St. Bridge - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Crews can't keep up with vandalism on Market St. Bridge

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A popular bridge in downtown Chattanooga is being hit by vandals, but not much is being done to clean up the mess.

Graffiti on Market Street Bridge is so common, TDOT crews say they can't keep up with repairs.

"It's a travesty when people don't do what little is required of them to keep things like this up," said Chuck Crutcher. He's talking about the vandals who have been dotting graffiti along the Market Street Bridge.

"There's a lot of history involved in it," said Crutcher.

A popular symbol of the Scenic City, original construction on Market Street Bridge began 100 years ago. It underwent a 13-million dollar renovation and re-opened in 2007. Graffiti has been rampant on it ever since.

"It's a shame that it happens, and there's not really a great solution to it," said TDOT spokesperson Jennifer Flynn.

"The last time our crews went out there, the very next morning it was retagged," Flynn said. "And we just can't keep up with something like that. It's unfortunate."

TDOT bridge repair crews check the bridge four times a year to make sure the drawbridge works. They'll do a more detailed inspection every two years. The state's focus, Flynn said, isn't aesthetics.

"Our main goal is to make sure the bridge is safe. Unfortunately, it's not always pretty with all the graffiti on it, but it is a safe structure," she said.

"I hate that. There's no call for it, but what can you do," Dennis Ritch said of the vandalism.

"It's gonna happen," he said. "I wish it wouldn't, but it does."

Vandalism less than $500 is a class A misdemeanor.
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