Vandals paint Maroon Creek Bridge |

Vandals paint Maroon Creek Bridge

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN ” Someone is spray painting graffiti on the new Maroon Creek Bridge, which is scheduled to open to traffic in July, according to Colorado Department of Transportation officials.

In two separate incidents ” one earlier this week and the other on Thursday evening ” someone painted murals on the bridge abutments on both sides of the bridge, according to CDOT crews.

“I don’t know what it says; it’s a bunch of letters and pictures,” said Tom Metheny, project manager with CDOT.

The images are about 4-feet high and 25-feet wide but are out of sight of the road, Metheny said

“They’re doing a nice job,” Metheny quipped, adding that the artwork is not offensive or vulgar.

“The only thing is we gotta go and sandblast it now,” Metheny said.

The new bridge will be finished on Wednesday, June 4, Metheny said. But new bus-lane striping will delay full opening to vehicles until mid-July.

There are cameras on the bridge to monitor any vandalism, Metheny said, but they were recently disconnected as the bridge neared completion.

Aspen Police Department detective Chris Womack said police are on the lookout for suspects, and said anyone found spraying graffiti on the bridge could be charged with criminal mischief and trespassing.

If the incidents continue and damages are great enough, Womack said the graffiti artist could face felony charges.

Staff from BTE Concrete, the contractor for the job, will sandblast the graffiti off the bridge on Wednesday, the day the bridge is scheduled for completion, Metheny said.

Sandblasting should cost between $600 and $800 ” money that will be a project expense and likely shared by the contractor and CDOT, Metheny said.

“They can’t get final acceptance from CDOT until we’re satisfied with everything,”

Metheny said. “It’s just not something we want on a new bridge.”

After the contractor finishes the final sandblasting, any future graffiti problems are up to CDOT maintenance crews, Metheny said.

Metheny joked that it shouldn’t be difficult to find the late-night painter.

“You probably could go to an art class to find [the perpetrator] because they’re pretty good,” he said.