Upper Arlington News

City's new street signs reflect better, cost less

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

A five-year project to replace Upper Arlington's street signs with more modern and reflective ones is roughly a year away from completion, according to city officials.

Upper Arlington is ahead of the curve with respect to a mandate by the Federal Highway Administration to install street signs by 2018 that are easier for drivers to read.

According to Buddy Caplinger, Upper Arlington public services manager, the city began switching out its old street signs in 2010 and replacing them with new ones that meet FHWA standards.

He said the work is expected to be completed sometime in 2014.

"We went through all our street name signs," Caplinger said. "They were just horrible. They were not reflective, which is not good.

"We have six districts in the city and we will finish up four of those six districts this year."

Caplinger estimated the city will replace approximately 13,000 signs by the conclusion of the project.

Thus far, he said, his department has spent about $55,000 for the effort, and he anticipates it will cost another $35,000 to finish the upgrades.

"The whole city will be done next year," he said. "We're totally being proactive with this. We had some signs up for 20 to 25 years that never had been replaced."

The new signs feature the "UA" emblem. They also are made with diamond-grade and high-intensity, prismatic-grade sheetings.

In addition to providing better visibility to motorists during all weather conditions, Caplinger said the city can produce many of the new signs in-house more efficiently and less expensively than the old signs.

"It took one sign about 40 minutes to cook," he said. "Some outside firms would charge $80 to $100 for a sign. Now we can do it in-house for $5 to $8 a sign, and we can usually do one sign in about a minute."

Depending on how much sun exposure they endure, Caplinger said, the new signs are expected to last for 15 to 20 years.