Crime

Graffiti to highway signs in KCK will add $20,000 to taxpayers’ tab

Vandalism to three overhead signs on southbound Interstate 35 between Southwest Boulevard and Seventh Street Trafficway has caused extensive damage that will cost $20,000 to replace.
Vandalism to three overhead signs on southbound Interstate 35 between Southwest Boulevard and Seventh Street Trafficway has caused extensive damage that will cost $20,000 to replace.

Graffiti vandalism to overhead highway signs on Intestate 35 will cost taxpayers about $20,000.

The signs, located along southbound I-35 between Southwest Boulevard and Seventh Street Trafficway, have been tagged in recent months and then again on Thursday night, according to a release from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Because of the extensive damage done on Thursday, two signs will have to be replaced at an estimated cost of $20,000. New signs will be ordered but won’t be installed until early summer.

A nearby sign that has been tagged will be repaired by crews who will place matching yellow tape over the graffiti.

The signs have been damaged in past years. To prevent the damage, the Transportation Department removed ladders to the catwalks. The catwalks, however, remained in place.

Such vandalism has been costly. In 2014, crews covered the graffiti with green sign sheeting at an estimated cost of $1,000 to $1,500.

In 2013, repairs to signs along I-35 near Southwest Boulevard, Mission Road and 37th Street in Johnson County cost $6,500 to repair.

The Transportation Department also spent about $18,400 in 2012 repairing graffiti vandalism to signs in 2012.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb

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