Hoosier Heartland Highway signs still to come

CARROLL CO., Ind. (WLFI) – Winter weather has delayed the installation of several mile marker and exit signs along the Hoosier Heartland and drivers are noticing.

“One sign coming into Delphi from Lafayette, and that’s all I see,” driver Ron Whitaker said. “There is absolutely nothing out there at all.”

“I almost missed [County Road] 900, out there, going to Lafayette because of the small sign,” driver Don Butcher said about the lack of signs along the highway.

Driving along the new Hoosier Heartland Highway many drivers said they notice there’s something missing — road signs.

“There’s still little roads off to the sides that actually don’t really indicate where you’re going,” Michael Taber said. “Even Old 25, which was a great road, is still there and there are little towns in between there, like Americus. It’s hard to get to and it’s confusing.”

“I think it could use a few more signs,” Albert Gurchiek said. “There’s a couple of signs for Delphi. I think there’s one up by Lafayette that tells you how far it is to get here, and then there’s a three-mile sign for Delphi and pretty much just one right at the exit.”

INDOT spokesperson Matt Dietchley said the rough winter weather delayed the installation of many of the mile markers and large exit signs. He said the ground has been too hard to put the signs up, but they’re coming in the next few months.

People living in communities along the new highway said they also want to see signs for local businesses along the roadway.

“I think they need more of them pointing in toward town, so the towns can get more business,” Butcher said.

Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser said the city and county are in the early stages of planning what type of signs will be best, whether it’s INDOT signs or billboards. He said the city, county and local businesses also need to decide who will pay for the signs.

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce executive director Julia Leahy said the chamber has made its decision. She said there is a demand from local businesses to have signs listing local businesses along the roadway. Leahy said she has been working closely with INDOT and the Indiana Logo Sign Group, a contractor chosen by INDOT to place logo signs along state roads. The Hoosier Heartland must be considered an expressway or interstate to be eligible for the attraction signs.

“The only way that people on the Hoosier Heartland are going to figure out what’s in Delphi is if we put some signs out there,” Whitaker said. “They’re not just going to go on a little journey through Delphi and look at the scenery. They’re going to have to know that there is something here they’re looking for.”

Dietchley said that classification will not be made until all work on the highway is complete this summer.

In addition to the mile marker and exit signs, Dietchley said crews will continue to work through the spring to finish up the landscaping and seeding along the road.

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