Sign Renovation Continues

WHEELING – A $3.97 million Interstate 70 sign renovation project is about half complete.

The project, which is being conducted by Nationwide Construction Group of Michigan, began this past spring in Ohio County and is expected to be finished June 28. Gus Suwaid, West Virginia Division of Highways District 6 construction engineer, said the new aluminum highway signs, some of which are 34 feet wide, were manufactured in the United States.

“Their surfaces are more reflective. It’s an entirely new technology. On the old ones you can see (reflective) dots. The new ones have reflective sheeting,” Suwaid said, noting the surface is meant to be easier to see at night.

Periodically, one or more lanes of traffic have been blocked, including ramps, to allow the contractor to install the signs safely. In the future, the contractor also may use rolling roadblocks with help from law enforcement for signage spanning multiple lanes of traffic. The rolling roadblock method is expected to only stop traffic for about 20 minutes at a time “or we impose a penalty on the contractor,” he said.

Suwaid said he did not have an exact count on the number of signs being replaced, but he noted the work began at the Pennsylvania state line. In addition to directional signs, new blue signs informing people of tourist attractions and places to get gas and food also are being installed.

The DOH also announced a new overhead sign will be installed Wednesday near the east end of the Wheeling Tunnel. To allow this work, a lane closure and entrance ramp closure will occur in the I-70 eastbound travel lane through the tunnel to the eastbound U.S. 250 entrance ramp. The tunnel lane closure will also result in the closure of the eastbound entrance ramp from Market Street in the downtown.