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Road signs eat up part of stimulus

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Monday, July 20, 2009

PennDOT has spent $60,000 to create large green road signs telling motorists that funding was secured by the federal stimulus package.

Agency spokesman Eric Waters said the signs will be visible at 30 projects across the state. The signs will cost about $2,000 each.

"We received $1 billion for roads and bridge projects; not all of the 242 projects will have signs," he said.

Four Western Pennsylvania projects have signs, said spokesman Jim Struzzi. They are: a maintenance project on the Fort Duquesne Bridge, Downtown; an interchange project on Routes 2 230 in Robinson; a project on the Rochester-Beaver Bridge in Beaver County; and repair work on Route 422 in Lawrence County.

Lori Irving, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Transportation, acknowledged the department strongly encouraged states to use stimulus funding to develop the signs.

"The signs are not required," she said.

Some states, like Virginia, chose not to erect signs.

"Personally I think it is ridiculous that any of the stimulus money is used by government entities to make signs," said Mike Cupp of Morgantown, W.Va.

West Virginia is placing signs on projects. The state received $210 million for 115 road and bridge projects, said Karen Zamow, spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

But Cupp wondered how many jobs the signs will create.

"Explain to me how that is stimulating?" he said.

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