Graffiti spray painted on unfinished Jeffersonville ramp of Big Four Bridge

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Jeffersonville ramp to the Big Four Bridge isn't even open, but vandals have already made their mark. Jeffersonville's Mayor is now hoping to have the ramp open by the Great Steamboat Race. In the meantime, the graffiti will be cleaned up.

It says "Private Property, No Trespassing," but that didn't stop people from taking down the temporary fence and using spray paint.

"I don't like it," said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore. I'm not happy about it."

He added: "We can fix it."

WDRB saw four different colors of graffiti on the ramp and there is even graffiti on the stairs leading up to the ramp.

Moore says the walking path already has a protect ant film on it that makes graffiti easy to clean off. He says he doesn't think it's gang related -- just kids doing the tagging.

"Safety at the Big Four Station on Jeff side is going to paramount," Moore said. "We are putting up an enormous amount of lighting, going to have extra police patrols over there. We're going to have video cameras."

Numerous deadlines have passed, but the Mayor says he now is hoping the ramp will open Wednesday, April 30 -- the day of the Great Steamboat Race. Moore says the holdup is the state of Indiana's mandate that lights have to be installed.  He's proposing to use $20,000 of the city's money to pay for temporary lighting.

Moore is waiting on written approval from the Indiana Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.

Jill Schimpff with Schimpff's Confectionary says, "It's very unfortunate, but we know good things take a long time, so we're hoping."

At Schimpff's Confectionery, the owners can't wait for the ramp to open. The store along with nearby restaurants are waiting to find out what it'll mean for their businesses and whether they'll have to adjust hours.

"Lots of people will be coming over to this side looking for small town experience next to a Metropolitan area," Jill Schimpff said. "We think we have that, exactly what we're looking for; we'll find out when our ramp is open."

Warren Schimpff with Schimpff's Confectionery says, "We're open 10 to 5 regularly. It's a very difficult decision business-wide to open in the evening now, not knowing what's going to be there."

Moore is hoping he'll have a decision by the end of the week about whether or not the ramp will be open by April 30.

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