$740K lawsuit alleges Beltline bridge blocks billboard

Company sues city over Cannon Ball Bridge
$740K lawsuit alleges Beltline bridge blocks billboard

An advertising agency has filed a lawsuit against the city of Madison claiming the Cannon Ball Bridge over the Beltline completely blocks one of their billboards, causing them $740,000 worth of damages.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 4 and claims the billboard at 2002 West Beltline Highway is 100 percent obstructed to eastbound traffic by the bike and pedestrian bridge. The company does not seek to have the bridge removed.

Adams Outdoor Advertising Real Estate Manager Jason Saari said the company filed the lawsuit because of a statutory deadline, but they have asked the city to file a joint motion to put it on hold.

“We’ve asked the city place the lawsuit on hold because there is an ordinance being introduced in Madison that would resolve this issue,” Saari said.

Adams Outdoor Advertising, which owns the property and the billboard, filed the lawsuit saying the city did not consult with them during the planning or construction of the bridge.

According to the lawsuit, the company’s property has no value for commercial use other than outdoor advertising.

“The value of the sign and the property has been substantially devalued by the erection of the Cannon Ball Bridge,” the lawsuit said.

In the lawsuit, company officials said they could not tell the effect the bridge would have on the visibility of their sign until it was completely constructed at the end of August 2013.

Adams officials also said the contractor the city used to build the bridge used their property to park equipment while erecting the bridge. Company officials said the city did not notify them they would be using their property, and they have not compensated them for that use.

“The city has occupied the property and fully obstructed the sign without properly exercising its power of eminent domain,” the lawsuit says. “The city’s unlawful taking has caused $740,000 in damages to the property and the sign for which Adams has not yet been compensated.”