LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – New graffiti is popping up along highways and brand new construction projects around Louisville.

The colorful designs and words were not part of the plans in east Louisville. With the construction of the Lewis and Clark Bridge, crews also added new lanes, tunnels and sound barriers. But graffiti is now splashed on both sides of the new stone walls.

"The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet tries to cover up the graffiti quickly, because it is unsightly,” said KYTC spokesperson Ryan Watts.

KYTC is getting calls of more graffiti, but Watts said crews can’t always clean it up as soon as they receive a report, adding that it's not always a quick and simple job.

“Sandblasting, pressure washing or actually giving the entire structure a paint job may be the only solutions we have to conceal the vandalism,” Watts said.

The amount of work also depends on how big or intricate the vandalism is, and Watts said the weather is also a factor in cleanup time.

"The conditions need to be very dry for us to sandblast or pressure wash,” he said.

Manpower makes a difference with how quickly a cleanup job can be completed. Watts said crews can be stretched thin having to work multiple projects in different counties. And they have to prioritize jobs based on the public’s safety.

“Crews who perform this type of work have other responsibilities, including patching bridge decks or repairing expansion joints,” he said.

In the end, graffiti on public roads or signs is an expense for everyone.

“Graffiti may appear as harmless artwork, but cleanup and restoration take considerable amounts of labor, time, and materials," Watts said. "All at the cost of the taxpayer.”

More new graffiti has also been spotted around spaghetti junction. If you see any graffiti on state roads, signs, bridges, walls or guardrails, call your local KYTC district office. The District 5 office number is 502-210-5400.

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