Blue bridge will remain and be repaired again

The often vandalized blue glass panels will remain on the bridge at Geary and Fillmore.

Despite an earlier recommendation that it be removed and relocated or put into storage, “Blue,” the public artwork on the bridge at Fillmore and Geary, will remain in place.

At a recent meeting, the citizens advisory council was told by officials from the Redevelopment Agency, which commissioned the artwork, that it would be too expensive to take it down. “It will cost at least $300,000 and perhaps as much as $500,000 to remove it,” the Redevelopment Agency’s Gaynelle Armstrong told the group. “And that doesn’t include storage.”

Instead, Armstrong said, it will cost about $20,000 to repair the glass panels and another $20,000 each year to maintain them. She noted the bridge may be changed as part of a new Geary transit plan.

The blue glass panels etched with words reflecting the area’s disparate ethnic groups have been repeatedly vandalized since the artwork was installed a decade ago. Some of the glass panels have already been replaced, some more than once.

“This thing is an eyesore,” said Barbara Meskunas, vice chair of the advisory council. “If we’re not going to take it down, it needs to be fixed.”

Rev. Arnold Townsend, who chairs the council, said the problems are caused by rowdy fans attending concerts next door at the Fillmore auditorium. “As long as it’s there, it’s going to be vandalized,” he said.