Taggers leave their mark on old Bay Bridge span

SAN FRANCISCO

Well, that didn't take long. Taggers have left their mark on the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge, which is supposed to be off limits to the public. It's graffiti with a huge risk.

"Well I think that's kind of foolish, actually," Oakland resident Nancy Elliott said. "If there's nobody there and there's barriers and they get injured and they're going on the outside of the structure, they could fall and get hurt."

Within the past few days, drivers have noticed a new paint job on the side of the old s-curve near the tunnel.

"It's bound to happen eventually, that's what I thought," Oakland resident Howard Lo said. "I mean, people, in Oakland especially, there's tagging everywhere."

But this is also presenting a serious security and safety issue for Caltrans and the state, which still own the defunct bridge. It's also a problem for the CHP, which must try to keep unwanted people off the old road deck. They caught one or two people the very first week the new bridge opened.

"So trespassing is a misdemeanor and they can be charged with a misdemeanor offense of trespassing," CHP Officer Mike Ferguson said in a phone interview. "Obviously for their safety, we don't want people to be up there."

But that is apparently happening despite the barricades and even though this is considered a construction zone slated for demolition.

"The idea is to prevent people from being able to get on the Bay Bridge first and foremost," Officer Ferguson said. "We've got the K-rails set up. There are other security measures I can't talk about. In addition we have officers patrolling just like always."

And the CHP says violators will be prosecuted, if they're caught.

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