MDOT to replace road signs

NEW SIGNS COMING: The Michigan Department of Transportation will replace about 5,000 signs along state highways in Western-Central Michigan this summer, including along Northland Drive, M-20 and 19 Mile Road in Mecosta County. City officials said postings like this no bicycling on sidewalk sign likely will be replaced with a smaller one. (Pioneer photo/Jonathan Eppley)

Postings along Northland Drive, M-20, 19 Mile Road to be updated this summer

BIG RAPIDS — Outdated road signs along nearly 170 miles of state highways in Western Michigan will be replaced this summer.

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to replace about 5,000 signs in Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties late this summer and into early fall. Locally, signs will be replaced along Northland Drive throughout Mecosta County; M-20 between U.S. 131 and Rodney; and 19 Mile Road between U.S. 131 and Northland Drive.

“There are signs that will be removed and replaced, and there are signs that will be removed all together,” said Pam Blazo, MDOT traffic and safety engineer. “Mecosta County is pretty well kept. We’re just trying to streamline some of the signs that are out there. Most of the changes have to do with parking signs.”

MDOT and Big Rapids city officials recently walked areas along Northland Drive and M-20 slated to receive new signs. Mark Gifford, director of the Big Rapids Department of Public Works, helped review which ones need to be replaced, moved, removed or can stay as posted.

“They’re basically going to replace every sign unless it’s newer than three years old and in the right place. It can be new and in the wrong place and still be moved,” Gifford said. “When you get into downtown, it’s not straight-forward signage. We have parking, no bicycling on the sidewalk and these sorts of signs that MDOT doesn’t have anything to do with, but because they’re on a state highway (M-20) they’re going to be updated. MDOT came to us asking for help (to review the signs).”

The city plans to install hanging flower baskets downtown this summer, which played a role in determining placement of road signs along M-20 (Maple Street).

Gifford described the two types of poles downtown where signs and flowers will hang. Signs will be placed on the taller posts and floral arrangements will be hung from the shorter ones.

“We don’t want to hang a bunch of flowers on the pole that are going to block road signs,” Gifford said. “Through helping MDOT, we were able to eliminate or move the signs on the shorter poles. The majority of the signs (within city limits) will not change in terms of what they say, but they may be in a little different spot.”

Gifford lauded his staff for maintaining signs along roads throughout the city. He said the city is “pretty up to date” when it comes to replacing signs.

“Van Johnson (street superintendent) and Roger Schneidt (assistant DPW director) have done an outstanding job on keeping up with maintaining our signs. If it is old or damaged, it gets replaced,” Gifford said. “I wouldn’t expect a dramatic change anywhere in the city. I don’t think most people will notice the changes that are made.”

avatar

Posted by Jonathan Eppley

Jonathan Eppley is news editor for the Pioneer. He designs and copy edits the Pioneer daily, and manages staff in the evening. Eppley joined the Pioneer staff in 2010. He can be reached at (231) 592-8357 or at jeppley@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply