A complete change in the look of all street signs throughout Reynoldsburg will be evident next spring.

A complete change in the look of all street signs throughout Reynoldsburg will be evident next spring.

Street superintendent Larry Ward said based on the Federal Highway Administration's recent regulations, all municipalities in the country are required to upgrade their street and traffic signs with a new and brighter reflection material.

Ward said the government's compliance deadlines are divided into two phases: Street name signs need to be upgraded by 2018 and all traffic signs -- including stop signs and speed limit signs -- must be changed by 2016.

"The federal government changed the regulation on signs and the amount of reflectivity. They call it 'retro-reflectivity,' which is a higher reflective material on them," Ward said.

Reynoldsburg city officials decided that if all street signs must be replaced in order to be compliant with the new rules, they might as well take the opportunity to change the color scheme from green and white to black and white.

Mayor Brad McCloud said the idea is to let people know when they have entered Reynoldsburg.

In addition, the new street signs will have a scripted "R" logo at the end of each street sign, which is the same logo the city uses on its letterhead and business cards.

"See, Columbus' signs are green and white so what we want is a definition that when you leave Columbus, you'll know you're in Reynoldsburg," McCloud said.

Ward said the government regulates the available colors for all signage used throughout the country. The options are black, brown, blue, or green so for Reynoldsburg Raider fans out there, purple was not an option.

He said the city's street department makes all the street and traffic signs that go in around town. The department will have to replace approximately 3,050 traffic control signs and about 1,200 street signs by the two deadlines.

"It's going to take a lot of money to do this, about $25,000 per year, so we'll have to begin doing it in the next couple of years," Ward said. "This new material costs about 20 percent more than the old material, but it's a requirement, so we need to do it to be compliant."

The new street signs, including new traffic signs, are scheduled to be installed starting next spring. The Brice and Livingston area of the city will be the first to get the new signs, Ward said.

By 2011, he said, crews will begin replacing the signs in the Eastshire subdivision, followed by the Huber subdivision in 2012, then in the rest of the city.

"Every single one will be done. Once they get up and people see them, I think it'll really draw some attention," Ward said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com