Big sign offers huge welcome to Grand Canyon State

Big sign offers huge welcome to Grand Canyon State

June 3, 2011

Most of the signs ADOT produces have to be pretty big so drivers can read them, but one of the newest is simply massive…

At 16x16 feet, a new sign welcoming motorists to Arizona is among the tallest in the state. It recently was installed on Interstate 8 near Yuma; however, it was made in Phoenix , and as you can imagine, moving a sign that size isn’t a simple task (see video above and photo slideshow below).

At roughly 1,000 pounds, the sign is so tall that it needed to be split in half for transport. Both halves were hoisted with a crane and put onto a trailer on moving day. After the nearly 200-mile journey, six ADOT crew members worked for about two hours to unload the sign and attach it three posts.

It was a big job, but the crew has plenty of experience installing signs around the state. Signs, markers and signals actually are a top priority for several organizational work groups, or orgs, within ADOT’s Traffic Engineering Group.

The ADOT employees in these groups paint stripes, keep an inventory of all sorts of highway traffic items and assemble and maintain traffic signal controllers. They also get to build, install and maintain the signs you see on your commute every day.

They built the huge welcome sign … it took just about four hours to assemble after all the components were fabricated because of their skill.

Welcome to Arizona

Besides its size, another thing drivers might notice is how reflective the new sign is at night. That’s because it was made using a reflective sign sheeting material that is cut out and directly applied to the aluminum background. Tiny, microscopic prisms are embedded into the material that allow more light to be reflected back to motorists and at greater angles than were possible in the past.

This type of sheeting has been in use for the past several years. It allows almost two seconds more notice for drivers traveling at highway speeds (about 150 feet at highway speeds) than the previous type of sheeting available on the market.

A few more facts about the new sign …

  • There are eight freeway-sized “welcome” signs in Arizona – one at each freeway entrance.

  • The old sign will be recycled …the sheeting will be removed and the panels can then be used as the background to make any sign. ADOT saves about $4 a square foot by doing this and has been recycling signs long before it became fashionable.

  • The sign being replaced is from the 1990s.

  • The enormous sign was secured to three I-beam posts. Over 96 post clips and 240 bolts were used to build the sign.

So be on the look out if you’re traveling to California and heading back on I-8. You’re in for a pretty impressive welcome to the Grand Canyon State!

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