The Herald Bulletin

February 7, 2014

Cities and towns looking at sign replacement

Project could cost $1.2 million

By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — Madison County cities and towns are being asked to contribute more than $117,000 for the replacement of regulatory signs to meet new federal guidelines.

Local units of government are being asked to consider providing 10 percent of the estimated cost of $1,171,500 for the replacement of 7,993 signs by Feb 1, 2016. The federal government will provide $1.05 million.

There are a total of 11,984 signs in the incorporated cities and towns, which includes Fortville and Daleville, with 67 percent requiring replacement.

The city of Anderson has to replace 3,930 of the 6,442 signs at a projected cost of $576,000 with $57,600 coming from local funds.

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith said the administration has been aware of the federal mandate for several years and the program is being handled by the Madison County Council of Governments.

"We anticipate using revenues from the Wheel Tax," Smith said. "Those funds can be used for street-related issues and for the purchasing of materials."

Elwood is scheduled to replace 1,078 of 1,477 signs at an estimated cost of $157,998 with a local match of $15,800.

“We have a serious issue with signs,” Elwood Mayor Ron Arnold said. “They have been working on this for at least two years and did an inventory of all the signs.

“The state increased our Motor Vehicle Highway funds, which will help cover the costs of replacing the signs.”

The new guidelines from by the Federal Highway Administration require higher reflectivity so motorists can better recognize the signs.

Madison County has already replaced the signs.

If the signs don’t meet the federal standards, the local taxing unit could face legal action if a motorist is involved in an accident and contends they didn’t see the signs, officials said.

Jerry Bridges, executive director of the Madison County Council of Governments (COG) said the Indiana Department of Transportation has approved funding.

The COG policy board and technical advisory committee voted by consensus Thursday to include the program in the areas Transportation Improvement Plan.

Bridges said if communities decide not to participate in the program they will not be able to afford the cost of replacing the speed limit, stop, yield and other regulatory signs.

“There are economies of scale by doing this together,” he said.

Bridges said COG will award single contracts for the environmental, design, right-of-way certification and coordination at an estimated $91,500.

The intention is to hire one contractor to replace all of the signs in the county. Construction is scheduled to start June 1, 2015 and to replace 1,000 signs per month.

Bridges said the total cost for the replacement of each sign is $146.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

Regulatory signs need to be replaced in local cities and towns to comply with new federal reflectivity standards. The Madison County Council of Government intends to complete the project by Feb. 1, 2016. Listed is the name of the taxing unit, total number of signs, signs needing replacement, total cost and local share. Alexandria - 900, 792, $116,080, $11,608 Anderson - 6,442, 3,930, $576,003, $57,600 Chesterfield - 250, 235, $34,443, $3,444 Daleville - 236, 217, $31,805, $3,180 Edgewood - 241, 188, $27,554, $2,755 Elwood - 1,477, 1,078, $157,998, $15,800 Fortville - 393, 188, $27,544, $2,755 Frankton - 390, 300, $43,970, $4,397 Ingalls - 372, 112, $16,415, $1,641 Lapel - 352, 299, $43,823, $4,382 Markleville - 59, 45, $6,595, $660 Orestes - 62, 59, $8,647, $865 Pendleton - 604, 387, $56,721, $5,672 Summitville - 206, 163, $23,890, $2,389