LD Signs

Coos Bay to replace 13-year-old electronic sign on the northbound side of U.S. Highway 101 outside of the Visitor Center with a new LED sign.

COOS BAY — The City of Coos Bay will be purchasing two new LED signs to be placed at the Coos Bay Visitor Center  to welcome passersby and to inform them of community events.

The city currently has a sign that was purchased around 13 years ago by the Visitor Conventions Bureau posted on the northbound side of U.S. Highway 101 at the Visitors Center. One of the two new signs would replace that sign.

The City of Coos Bay found it would be cheaper to replace banner program over southbound traffic on U.S. Highway 101 with a new LED sign.

The second sign would be placed on the northwest corner of the Visitor Center, and would face southbound traffic. The new signs will be around five feet by 12 feet.

“The signs have been ordered, Coos Bay City Manager Rodger Craddock said. We should receive them sometime in the next couple of months, and then they’ll be installed.”

On the southbound side of Highway 101 there is currently a banner program, where banners are hung above the highway to promote upcoming community events. The new sign would replace the current banner program, while upholding the city’s current agreement to promote events for non-profits at no cost to the organization.

“Oregon Department of Transportation would rather us not put up the banners, and if we continue to do so they want us to replace the two banner poles. The direction we’ve been given on those by ODOT would require substantial investment,” Craddock said.

It would cost the city $50,000 to replace each banner pole. The cost of both LED signs totals $60,000. The VCB has offered to pay $20,000 toward the new signs, so the LED signs will actually be cheaper that replacing the poles used to hang banners.

“We put up banners around 27 times a year. Currently we put them up using our crew, and it takes two employees to put those up. It cost the city on average to put up and take down around $500 dollars,” Craddock said.

Putting up banners over the southbound 101 takes approximately 114 hours per year of time from city employees. According to the number Craddock provided, putting up information from the banners on these new LED signs will save the city approximately $13,500 each year.

“This will free up approximately 114 hours per year for city employees, which they can spend on other projects such as road improvements,” Craddock said.

Craddock said that the banners over 101 also took up quite a bit of office time at the city too. Applications were required to be filled with the city to put up banners, and then the city would need to acquire concurrent permits from the state, because it was along the highway.

“All of the work to put up information on the two LED signs will be done by the VCB staff,” Craddock said.

The sign on the southbound side of the highway will eliminate one parking spot from the Visitor Center parking lot.

Craddock said that he’s looking forward to freeing up staff throughout the year so that they can work on other projects.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.