Fifth Street bridge hit with graffiti; service line breaks

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – During an inspection of the Freedom Bridge, the city’s Engineering and Environmental Services Department learned the bridge was vandalized.

On Wednesday, the department was assessing the damage and determining how to remove the graffiti and repair the damage.

Now, it’s cleanup is underway.

Pots and play equipment were covered in black and blue paint.

The bridge is well-lit, has plenty of room to walk, run, or hangout, and even has cameras. It’s why many people love to visit the bridge, but the recent vandalism has caused an uproar online and many people are wondering if there needs to be an increase of officers patrolling the area to not only keep the bridge safe but the people on it as well.

It’s in an area with big plans for the future — a zipline on the way, talks of revitalizing the marina and more — to bring in more people and more business.

“Some people might want to take pictures or have a little piece of mind out here,” said Travis Bush, who lives nearby.

Many people come to the bridge to walk, run, play with kids, or enjoy the view, but now, locals are frustrated.

Tab Benson, who also lives nearby, said: “It just shouldn’t be out in a public area where families and different ages are. I mean, you should keep it with whatever they put that’s what they put. You don’t come to add your own to it.”

There are cameras along the walkways, but some people are now questioning if that’s enough.

Bush said: “I think, personally, if you put signs up or get a security guard to watch overnight, it’d probably help.”

They’re hoping this doesn’t happen again, with a goal to have more free public activities coming to the area if they’re treated properly.

Benson said: “You can be creative, but take your creativity somewhere else. I mean, it’s not an art museum or it’s not somewhere that has free writing. Right? It’s a hangout spot or family spot. It’s open. No security. That’s pretty cool. Yeah, don’t take advantage of that. Just because we don’t have people telling us when and where we can pull up. Don’t feel like okay, it’s late night, you can pull up and do what you want to do. No respect for the community.”

Also in the area, crews responded to a water service line break near the intersection of Broad and Fifth Street just after noon on Wednesday.

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