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70 MPH Speed Limit Signs Ready To Go
In August, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill raising the current speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour. In just a few weeks, the new speed limit will go into effect.
A new speed limit means new speed limit signs.
The Central Sign Shop in Springfield is where employees from IDOT make about 70,000 signs a year. 900 of those signs made this year are the new 70 mph speed limit signs and in the coming weeks will be posted all along the interstate.
"IDOT made up approximately 900 70mph signs over a one month period," said Paris Erivn, IDOT Spokesperson.
Many of the new signs were made from recycled 65 mph signs.
"We take a lot of signs that are reconditioned and we will use our water jet machine to blast off the old reflective sheeting and apply new reflective sheeting," said IDOT Sign Shop Tech, Cory Pelc.
After the reflective sheeting, the new 5foot tall by 4 foot wide 70 mph signs are hand cut and then painted.
"Our silk screeners apply special translucent ink to the signs and then they are allowed to try," said Pelc.
After the estimated $200,000 70 mph signs are dry, they are distributed to the nine IDOT districts in the state and ready to be placed along the interstate.
"IDOT will put the signs up between January 2nd and January 17th," said Ervin. "We have to wait until the law is effective until those signs are unveiled."
When January first comes and you don't see a 70 mph sign on the interstate yet, IDOT officials say you still have to comply with the posted 65 mph speed limit until those signs are replaced.
"Obey the posted speed limits," said Ervin. "We will get them out there as soon as we can but January 2nd through the 17th is what we are shooting for."
As for the 65 mph speed limit signs that will be taken down come January, IDOT officials say they too will be recycled for future speed limit signs that will last up to 10 to 15 years.
IDOT officials tell us they will not put the signs out before the law goes into effect because they would have to keep them covered and unveil every sign come January, which they say is most cost effective.