Springfield Twp. road crews will be working to replace more than 300 road signs this spring in order to bring them into accordance with new state guidelines for retroreflectivity, thanks to a recent grant.
The new signs are more visible to drivers at night and have been shown to improve safety, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. All Ohio traffic signs, such as stop and speed limit signs, must meet the new standard by 2015, and all signs, including street names, must comply by 2018.
Springfield Twp. has been installing the new signs as needed due to damage because of crashes or vandalism, but began the push to replace all signs in the fall.
“If it hadn’t been for the really nasty winter weather, we’d be almost done,” said township administrator Jeff Briner.
The township received a $22,389.96 grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation, which paid for 526 signs, 100 post reflectors, mounting hardware and 300 new sign posts. So far, about 180 signs have been replaced. The rest will be done by June 1, Briner said.
When the 2015 and 2018 deadlines were put in place in 2011, the City of Springfield and Champaign County administrators said they had grants in place and were already in the midst of replacing their signs.
“Everybody knew this was coming,” Briner said. The new guidelines had been publicized beginning in 2003.
Champaign County secured a $50,000 grant, matched with $12,500 in local money, to buy about 1,400 traffic signs.
Springfield used a $50,000 grant to inventory and measure the reflectivity of its more than 13,600 signs in 2010 and found that about 4,700 needed to be replaced. City commissioners approved a $46,000 contract to buy those signs.