Thursday, September 17, 2009

Follow-up on the stimulus road signs

DarkeJournal had a story awhile back about the stimulus road sign posted at the project on State Route 36 and Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road (which has since been completed). At the time, there was a spirited discussion as to the value of having these signs on the project sites.

We sent an email to the Ohio Department of Transportation back then, and Communications Director Scott Varner sent back a lengthy response including the following: "The cost of each sign varies by project and by contractor, as the sign is produced at the contractor's expense. A contractor that can produce its own signs or is producing signs at more than one location would have a lower cost. It’s estimated that each sign is approximately $300 in materials."

Since then, however, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has published a story indicating that officials "estimated the cost at $2,000 to $3,000 to supply, install and remove signs for each of Ohio's 365 projects." Overall, Ohio could end up spending a cool million on just these signs.

Varner's earlier estimate was for just "materials," but still seems incredibly low given the Plain Dealer information. Also, Varner was technically correct in saying that the sign is produced at the contractor's expense, but the contractor just simply passes that cost along to ... well, us. Other states have elected to not use the stimulus signs.

Darke County will have three road improvement projects, at a cost of just over $2 milion, funded with stimulus money (see District 07).


  1. Who are they putting to work? People that all ready have jobs.This does not create any new jobs.I mean it is pretty simple really.What obama is doing isnt working.

  2. I would like for people to list as many jobs as they can think of that takes people. Manufacturing jobs have done away with people through automation, roads and bridges are one of the last types of work that still take people. Yes you can have machinery that makes the work quicker, but it still takes a lot of people to pave roads and build bridges. As the above poster noted that this will not create any new jobs, he is right. The only way to create more jobs in this country is to back up 20 years in manufacturing and do away with mass automation, and to do something about the american people buying products made in china and mexico.

  3. These signs are up on St Rt 503 from 127 to the Darke-Preble county line.

  4. The resurfacing of 503 was scheduled for start of 2010 and completion summer 2010.All they did was move up the time frame of this job.Not 1 new job will be created out of this

  5. Contacts from around the state say they see these signs on projects that have been started in as minimal a fashion as possible and then shut down until next Spring just to get the government money. Bridges are closed to be replaced with nothing more than signs blocking it off and some unloading of materials onto the structure. Nothing done on it since then. It is ridiculous.

  6. @805 - you've got to be kidding me.

    You really want manufacturing to be the backbone of your economy forever? It's a lifecycle... manufacturing can be done cheaper elsewhere for much less. You can't expect the world economy to change its nature because you and your family/community are out of jobs.

    The REAL solution (although this is vague intentionally cause i'm not an authority by any means), is transitioning the american workforce to those jobs on your list that require people... not to the jobs that used to require people then blame technology and efficiency for the loss of jobs.

    The american workforce, as a whole, needs to shape itself into a technology/information based workforce. You can't expect to graduate high school and simply find a job at whirlpool/fram/basf/corning/etc anymore. If you do, you're a moron and living in the past.

  7. 11:17 AM
    Okay Einstein, then what are those people supposed to do that cannot achieve high school, much less higher? We used to have meaningful jobs for them, but no more. Just as we cannot maintain a viable society by delivering pizzas to each other and doing each other's dry-cleaning, we surely cannot by everyone tapping on plastic keys in cube farms. Would your solution be to expatriate (transform) those who cannot attain the educational credentials to third-world locations where their type of employment still exists? Call me a moron too, but there is just no easy solution to this dilemma.

  8. Regarding the project on 36, removing a hill. I can't see any difference since the alleged work was completed, other than new pavement. Maybe too much was spent on the signs...


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