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30 Stimulus Road Signs Cost $60,000

From the Allentown Morning Call:

Stimulus road signs in Pennsylvania cost $60,000

Pennsylvania Transportation Department spends part of its allotment to tout projects. Nationwide, the federal advertising campaign is costing millions.

By Josh Drobnyk
July 17, 2009

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is spending $60,000 of its stimulus money on $2,000 road signs to highlight projects funded by the massive economic recovery package.

The large green signs mark about 30 of what PennDOT calls ”higher visibility projects” statewide. Each denotes the project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and features the act’s logo.

Nationwide, several million dollars are being spent producing the signs.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Chizmar said Pennsylvania elected to take a ”middle-of-the-road” approach to the federal government’s strong encouragement that the signs be put at every project site around the state, choosing only those that were most visible to the public. The stimulus package is pumping $1 billion into the state for hundreds of road and bridge repairs.

PennDOT’s not alone in touting the stimulus package. The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority requires all contractors to post the act’s logo on construction sites. ”The logo must be at least six inches in diameter and displayed in a prominent place,” reads a line in the agency’s Recovery Act requirements.

The state also is paying political strategist and media consultant Ken Snyder $9,090 a month to help with publicity relating to the stimulus package.

”Obviously it is important to educate the public about where the recovery dollars are working in the commonwealth,” PennDOT’s Chizmar said. ”The public deserves and has a right to know.”

That hasn’t quelled criticism from some who see the signs as a waste of money.

Tabitha Vavrick, 42, a hair stylist at Plaza Barber Shop in Quakertown, was never a fan of the $787 billion stimulus package. This, she said, adds to her fury.

”I think it’s just atrocious,” she said Thursday. ”The roads are terrible. We’ve got bridges falling down. There are other things that money could be going to.”

$60,000 on 30 road signs.

Obviously, Ms. Vavrick is wrong.

It is far more important that everyone know who is paying for these great works, than it is that the money go to something actually useful.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

26 Responses to “30 Stimulus Road Signs Cost $60,000”

  1. BillK says:

    Colorado has these too, except our (Democratic) Governor attached his name to the bottom of each, making each a de facto campaign ad.

    Estimates are that they run $500 – $1200 each.

    BusinessWeek mentioned last week:

    Federal stimulus road signs rile up some taxpayers

    By Tim Martin

    Russell Pohl sees a relatively small but symbolic waste of taxpayer money when he drives by a road sign advertising a construction project paid for by the federal stimulus package.

    The signs, which typically cost between $500 and $1,200 to design, make and install, read: “Putting America to Work” in black letters on an orange background, and “Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” in white letters on a green background.

    “That’s six or so more potholes we could have filled, instead of wasting that money on a sign,” said Pohl, a 40-year-old custom countertop and cabinetry maker from rural Clinton County about 30 miles north of Lansing. “A lot of people have mixed feelings about the stimulus anyway. If taxpayers are going to foot the bill, I’d at least like to think the money is being spent wisely.”

    The signs have been spotted from the bumper-to-bumper traffic of Chicago’s congested interstate system to lightly traveled highways leading to northern Michigan’s lakes and forests.

    President Barack Obama’s administration says the thousands of signs appearing in several states are useful sources of information for taxpayers wondering where money from the Recovery Act is going.

    “We look at it as a way to promote transparency,” said Sasha Johnson of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The use of federal stimulus road signs is not mandatory but has been encouraged, she said.

    Signs announcing road projects and how they’re being paid for aren’t new — many states have erected them for years.

    But with the economy tanking and the nation deeply in debt, the markers have struck a nerve with some. Unlike most traffic construction signs that can be reused for several years, the Recovery Act signs will be outdated when the program expires in 2011.

    Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin has criticized the practice on her Web site, calling the signs “tax-subsidized re-election billboards” and “stimulus hype propaganda sporting the mark of the porkulus beast.” U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has included the road signs in a list of what he considers the most questionable stimulus spending.

    There is no separate budget for the road markers, making it difficult to estimate how much will be spent on them nationwide. The federal government and state transportation departments say they don’t keep track. The signs are paid for out of the budgets of individual stimulus-funded projects at the state or local level. Many are made by private contractors.

    The state of Michigan estimates each sign costs about $400 to $500. The Illinois Department of Transportation puts the cost of each one at about $300 to make, with the total price rising to about $1,000 including labor, wooden mounting posts and other installation costs. Colorado officials estimate a medium-sized sign costs $750 to $1,200 installed.


    Nice, huh?

    On March 12, federal highway officials issued guidelines with a place for an optional plaque for state-specific information including the names of public officials. The names of Granholm and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, both Democrats, were posted on signs first put up in their states.

    But federal officials dropped the optional plaque from their guidelines 12 days later, after they decided including the names of public officials would be inconsistent with regulations covering what’s known as the federal aid highway program.

    Here’s a picture of one complete with the Governor’s name on the bottom. There are several of these quite large in size along I-70 in the Colorado mountains:


    • U NO HOO says:

      May I conclude that the bozo in the photo is the governor, Bill Ritter, and that he already has a job. Maybe uncovering the sign is putting him to work.

  2. BK says:

    They want about $500.00 just for the vinyl for one of these signs. Plus you have the posts, sheet metal, assembly, installation.

  3. proreason says:

    I hope Josh Drobnyk doesn’t have any tax liens, overdue child support, open traffic tickets, a public address, a published telephone number, living relatives, or good health.

    Cause he’s about to experience some Hope and Change.

  4. Reality Bytes says:


  5. U NO HOO says:

    I was afraid I would be too parochial if I brought this to S&L’s attention. Apparently it is as bad as I thought if this topic is here before me today.

    Did you hear the one about the new PENNDOT employee who…filed a grievance because he didn’t get a shovel to lean on?

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    An Estimate from RB MFG.

    Sheet metal stamped to size & deburred sides (approx 5ft x 4ft): $150.00
    Paint & Graphics: $250.00
    Site delivery & installation (2 men 2 days each @ $1,400.00 per day): $2,800.00

    TOTAL: $3,200.00 EA.

    TYPICAL LOW BID! Which means, the contractor will go out of business forcing the government to renegotiate a higher number.

    If you ever want to know what low bid gets you come to NJ and drive on our state highways.

  7. JaneLovesJesus says:

    yeah, saw my first one of these signs out here in KS yesterday. creepy.

  8. canary says:

    Bilk, that really takes the cake. I have relatives in Colorado mountains. Wonder if any signs are in hunting areas.
    The money could have gone to save someone’s eyesight.

    “The use of federal stimulus road signs is not mandatory but has been encouraged, she said.” how so?

  9. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Well, here in SC, I’ll bet they’d have to post guards to protect the signs because “Bubba ain’t havin’ none o’ that”

  10. Chuckk says:

    The sad part of this is that the signs are probably not .001% of the waste, fraud and stupidity in all the new spending. They just happen to be visible while most of the graft and corruption is under the table.

  11. canary says:

    Well, I’m going to get with the state, and insist they fix my eyes, and I will wear a sign eyeballs fixed by the stimulous package.

  12. Gladius et Scutum says:

    I’ve been on the interstates a lot lately, and these thing have been sprouting like mushrooms after a wet spell. They are much larger than 4′ X 5′, more like 8′ X 8′.

    But regardless of what they cost originally, what do y’all think I can get for ’em on e-bay?

  13. VMAN says:

    So I guess that logo would be Obama’s swastika?

  14. VMAN says:

    Oh and one more thing. When do we get around to singling out a race or ethnic group for extermination?

  15. sheehanjihad says:

    “When do we get around to singling out a race or ethnic group for extermination?” They already have!
    White male conservatives over the age of 50!

    A demographic that is being carefully and purposefully left out of anything from the Obama administration, simply put: Because they are too old to indoctrinate, and too young to liquidate.

    So every new Messiah inspired program conveniently leaves that group out in the cold. And they havent begun in ernest yet.

    • VMAN says:

      They really don’t want to mess with us. I know a lot of tough old white bastards over 50 and I’d like to count myself among them.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Dead on, Vman!!
      I too am one of those “old” bastards over 50 but I’m armed and proficient.
      To any libtards out there ……….. I am “Mr. Bastard” to you!

    • neocon mom says:

      I think these signs serve a greater purpose. They are like a giant middle-finger to American taxpayers. He wants us to know who is in charge.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      What this smacks of to me is the same as Soviet-style activity. In Victor Belenko’s book, “MiG Pilot” he refers to being on an airbase that was pretty spartan of greenery. A major dignitary was to be visiting and so the prolitariat assembled a workforce, went out to where the trees grew and uprooted not just a few..but a few hundred, to line the road leading in to the airbase.

      The trees, when transplanted, all died. So, no matter, they did it again. And when they died, they painted them green.

      This road signage is the same thing. “See? We’re actually doing something with all that money….can’t you see the sign? What’s the matter with you? The sign says it all…and by golly, that’s results!”

      Uh-huh. More liberal jibber-jab. More hype. More push-push-push. But I will say this, even the most liberal of Americans, inundated with the truthful ads in today’s media market…who believe everything they are told on The View and by Catie Couric, even they….have a saturation point where it becomes all-too-tiresome.

      If I had the money and time, I would love to tour the country and photograph these signs with the ripped up roads in the background…and publish them for all to see.

    • proreason says:

      “They are like a giant middle-finger to American taxpayers”

      Half of what he does is to rub our faces in it…..the Paris trip, the pizza chef, the $6,000 handbag, “I won”, passing the country-destoying legislation in 24 hours.

      He is an angry angry little boy.

  16. RightWinger says:

    Just last weekend my family went to Lancaster, PA for a mini-vacation. We passed by one of these signs (it was either PA 222 or I-76, can’t remember which).

    Anyway, this so called project works consisted of paving of a shoulder for about a mile or two and you could see in the roads where pot holes were filled in with new patchwork asphalt. This is what constitutes fixing our infrastructure with tax payer money.

  17. sheehanjihad says:

    That’s the truth Vman and LD! I got my own stimulus package right here, and if they think they can regulate our demographic to the dung heap of obscurity by their onerous back door policies, hell, you all know they have another think coming!

  18. pdsand says:

    I saw these a couple of times over the last few months on vail pass on I-70. Of course there wasn’t any work going on, not even any equipment or cones or anything, but there was a big sign stating that the work was being funded by the stimulus.

  19. canary says:

    Pelosi should be forced to paint her plane green and say 1,000,000 dollars a flight of smog paid by you.

    Illinois stimulus signs cost $6 million dollars. Obama is sending orders directing the size & specifics putting the money into Chicago sign factories.

    Heard an elementary school got a new lunch counter after it was already remodeled. Will they put up a road side over the counter in the cafeteria. omg!
    I’ll bet they have to put on a “thank Michelle Obama move.forward” sign.

    What if you refuse to put sign? Destroy turtles paths made under Florida roads for safe crossing?
    Tear down roads?
    ave at a convention. Not sure if there is a big green road sign over the counter in the cafeteria.

    I have not seen one sign in my state, and don’t think we will. Something about strings attached.

    What the heck is Commie Obomies going to do if a state doesn’t put up a sign?
    Tear up a new road?
    Tear down the little life-saving turtles’ safety paths built under Florida roads?

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