I-95 graffiti draining taxpayers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It's on signs near Lantana Road, it's on hard-to-reach places, it's on seemingly dangerous places near Palmetto Park.

"It's not America. America should be nice and clean and beautiful," said Debby Hanson of North Miami Beach and a frequent driver on I-95.

"It looks dirty and I don't like to see it," said John Pieres of Delray Beach.

The state Department of Transportation agrees, and since January has spent nearly $40,000 countywide to clean graffiti on I-95.   That amount is two-thirds of their yearly average and we're only halfway through the year.

"We'll go in, we'll cover up the graffiti, and almost by the time the paint is dry, they're back out there doing it again," said David Pierce of FDOT.

The state says its become a cat and mouse game with graffiti writers, who they say are playing their own  game with each other.

But there's nothing cute about it.

Pierce saying gangs are using state property to fight turf wars, in public view.

"They'll either deface the original gang's, or they'll just paint their own. That could start a lot of violence," said Pierce.

Drivers say the drain of taxpayer money is only slightly more painful than the eyesore graffiti creates.

"We're already paying for everything anyway, so why not?" said Hanson.

The state says it costs up to .95 cents per square foot to paint over graffiti on sound walls.

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