Ventura police are looking for vandals who defaced the newly painted train trestle over Highway 101, authorities said.
New security cameras caught footage of two males putting graffiti on the bridge about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, said Cmdr. Mark Stadler. Police are reviewing the tape.
The vandals could face civil and criminal charges, Stadler said.
The incident comes about a week after the city unveiled the graffiti-free bridge, which supports Union Pacific Railroad traffic over the freeway and has been a magnet for vandalism.
Caltrans, Union Pacific and the city of Ventura helped paint the trestle over two months. The project, which required closures of the 101, ended the weekend of June 8.
Police installed surveillance cameras to monitor the trestle and help spot trespassers. Under the city's graffiti ordinance, those caught defacing the trestle must pay cleanup costs and can be fined $1,000 for each occurrence.
Rick Raives, public works director for Ventura, said that while those involved in the beautification didn't expect new vandalism so soon, they understand graffiti will continue to be a problem.
"We didn't want to just paint the bridge and that would be the end of it," Raives said. "We knew it would help but not eliminate graffiti, and we have plans in place to deal with that."
He said deterrents, including lights and fencing, will be installed soon. Cameras also serve as deterrents, Raives said, and will help police in vandalism investigations.
Raives said Monday's graffiti was minimal and that the department will work with the railroad and California Highway Patrol to paint over the damaged area.
Stadler said police need the public's help in identifying vandals. He said residents can call 650-8010 or 911 if they see suspicious behavior or people loitering nearby.