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Chattanooga resident Allison Gorman remembers when the glass Holmberg Pedestrian Bridge opened 10 years ago. It was beautiful and unusual, she said.

But now, a wooden plywood plank acting as a Band-Aid covers a destroyed glass panel on one end. At the other end, two panels have cracks throughout them. All three need to be replaced. What was once an impressive feat of architecture has become an "eyesore," she said.

"To me, the most striking thing about it now is its disrepair," she said.

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City says no timetable for newest Holmberg pedestrian bridge damage

The $1.6 million glass bridge was built in 2005 to connect the Hunter Museum of American Art to an area near the Walnut Street Bridge. But the bridge has been a constant source of repairs and the city has spent thousands of dollars mending shattered glass since its completion.

Lee Norris, Department of Public Works administrator, said he doesn't know the total amount the city has spent fixing the bridge, but he estimates it has needed between $10,000-$20,000 a year in repairs.

For the latest round of damage, Norris said there isn't a timetable for when it will be fixed. Last time the bridge needed repairs, Norris suspected skateboarders to be the cause of the problem.

But city officials aren't sure what caused this latest damage.

"That's part of the problem," he said. "I've had experts all over the place looking at them. We think it's due to the way the glass is made."

The city has put in a repair order with the glass company, he said. Officials also are consulting with experts to try and figure out why panels keep breaking. The problem may be the material the bridge is made out of, he said. Each glass panel costs between $4,000-$5,000 to replace, Norris said.

With all the money being thrown into repairs for the structure, has the city thought of scrapping the bridge altogether?

"That has been discussed," Norris said. "But no determination has been made yet."

Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at ehoopfer@timesfreepress.com, @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.

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