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Vandals damage new footbridge

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PAYSON -- Vandals damaged a footbridge designed to last a century just days after city officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the structure.

Student volunteers from Brigham Young University designed and assembled the unusual fiberglass bridge and arranged for its installation. It is possibly the only such structure in Utah. The bridge spans Peteetneet Creek at Payson Canyon Park, a developing park about two miles east of Payson on the Nebo Loop, a federally designated scenic highway.Vandals have struck four times, kicking out a total of 47 vertical siderails, Parks Superintendent Blair Andreason said.

"You can see the bootmarks. Some of them were kicked four times to get them to come out. This was not little kids," he said. A reward of $250 has been offered for the arrest and conviction of the vandals, police said.

The city will have to install two new complete siderail sections to replace the damaged rails. Andreason estimated the damage between $3,000 and $4,000. The bridge is valued at $60,000.

The vandalism follows an ongoing pattern of destruction that has struck the city cemetery and public restrooms. Andreason said.