Vandals strike bridge again; firms offering $6,500 reward
Monday morning dawned with the usual discouraging news for workers at the construction site of the new bridge at the Tonganoxie Cliffs more vandalism.
Les Harlan, superintendent for A.M. Cohron and Son construction company, Atlantic City, Iowa, said the ante for the reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vandalism has been increased.
A total of $6,500 is being offered, Harlan said, $5,000 by Tri State Traffic Control, Stockton, Mo., the company that puts up the barricades, $1,000 by the Cohron company and another $500 by another company that is doing some of the dirt work.
With the higher reward, Harlan said he thinks the sheriff's department may get tips.
"I got a call Friday from an investigator with the sheriff's department," Harlan said. "He sounded encouraging, like maybe tips were coming in."
Also, Harlan said, he's heard from others who want to grab the reward.
"I've got people wanting to camp out here for $6,500," he said.
On Monday, Harlan said vandals again had concentrated their efforts on the barricades blocking traffic to the east side of the bridge. They took the two barricade lights and pushed the barricades off the sides of the road, breaking one of them.
"What scares me is that if someone misses that little road-closed sign down there at the intersection and then comes barreling down here at 80 miles an hour and the barricades are down that counterweight on that crane is next and it weighs 20,000 pounds and nothing's going to hurt that," Harlan said.
He said he didn't have a problem with youths visiting the area.
"It would be a great place for kids to come out here and party," Harlan said. "That's great just leave the barricades and leave my equipment and materials alone."