State spends $1.6M on new signs for area interstates

Some drivers are seeing double as the Ohio Department of Transportation puts up new signs next to old ones along some area roadways.

ODOT is spending $1.6 million to replace 167 signs in Montgomery and Clark counties along Interstates 70 and 675 and Ohio 334 and 235. Thirty-five of these signs stretch over the highway and can cost up to $29,250 each.

While the old signs appear to be in good shape, ODOT Deputy Director Randy Chevalley said they are nearly a decade old and at night they’re becoming harder to see because the reflectivity is wearing off.

A more noticeable difference is that the new signs feature larger letters and numbers. The letters are going from 13.3 inches tall to 16 inches.

“The aging population, their eyesight is not as good as it used to be,” Chevalley said.

He said the old signs will come down soon. The work is being done by Columbus-based M.P. Dory. It started in April and should be done Sept. 30.

At the exit from I-675 for Ohio 725, south of Dayton, people interviewed this week said they hadn’t even noticed the duplicate signs right next to the old ones.

Thakor Pema of Springboro, who works at the BP near the intersection, stood and compared the old and new signs side by side.

“I like that new one,” he said, describing it as “sharper.”

Steve Wilhelm of Dayton, who works at the car wash next door, said he was happy to see the signs replaced.

“It actually helps,” he said. “If you can direct traffic better, I say it’s an improvement.”

Others were more skeptical, such as Craig Stiven of Illinois, who drives that stretch of road frequently for his job in the Dayton area

“It seems like the other sign works just fine,” he said. “It’s not like they’re damaged.”

His friend, Steve Jacobs of Centerville, said that if the state is going to replace the signs it can at least clarify that the exit takes motorists onto Yankee Street, not Ohio 725.

Chevalley said the new signs are expected to last up to 14 years

“Our highway signs don’t last forever,” he said. “If you’ve ever been on the road at night and have come across signs that are hard to see, you know that.”

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