by Lisa Tome
New state requirements are mandating that street signs will now have six inch letters as opposed to the current four inch size. Crews have about four more years to replace every street sign with a new one.
"All the signs are being updated. The old ones are being scrapped. But it
doesn't happen overnight," said Butch Snelling, supervisor at the Cecil County Roads Department Sign Shop. "It's supposed to be done by 2018. We'll be done way ahead of schedule."
Every street sign will be taken down and recreated with the bigger letters. "We use the best grade materials you can get."
In addition to converting the signs to the larger font, Snelling and the rest of the sign crewmen are putting in some time on the evening shift. They are checking signs for reflectivity. "We're seeing what looks bad at night but good in the day," Snelling said. "The main problem is in the day, they look like they are reflective but at night, they are not."
They make a list of the signs. Those are then replaced with the new six-inch lettered signs within a few days.
But there are a number of other chores that keep the crew busy.
Snelling said that theft of road signs is a constant. Keeping track of what was taken and replacing them is a top priority.
Around the sign shop, the most labor intensive sign is the School Bus Stop Ahead. The lime green background has to be applied. The black highlights have to cut out. Then a red stop sign, red light on the bus, and flashing red light have to be applied.