Work is progressing in replacing over 2,000 street signs and the dozens of signal lights that were destroyed by the May 22, 2011 tornado. These signal lights serviced 17 different intersections within the disaster area.
According to David Hertzberg, Public Works Director, much of the funding to replace these items is coming from a federal highway fund that does not offer the emergency replacement process.
“Because of the various regulations and specific guidelines in place, the City had been in a holding pattern after filing for the funding to replace these important markers throughout our community,” he said. “We have been notified that the process is now in motion and Joplin citizens should start seeing these in the near future.”
Immediately following the disaster, City crews identified roads for emergency crews and volunteers with a painted grid system at each intersection in the area. In addition, freestanding stop signs were placed at crossroads of intersections that received damage to their signals.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this time, and I know everyone will be pleased to see these signs resurrected and signals back in place – including our City staff,” he said. “When traveling, many people use landmarks for identification, and with these demolished, street signs are helpful.”
City crews have erected hundreds of temporary signs since the storm. These, along with the placed stop signs, will remain until the final replacement signs are in place.