Update on the Exit 6 Picayune sign

Published 9:34 am Thursday, June 29, 2023

An update on the Exit 6 Picayune sign project reveals significant strides the city and the Public Works department have made since its conception in 2020. The idea for the sign originated when Mayor Jim Luke encountered a sign outside Columbus, MS. Inspired by its visual appeal, the city embarked on a mission to create a sign that enhances aesthetics and satisfies both the city and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) guidelines.

Given the sign’s proximity to the highway, it was crucial for it to be easily destructible to ensure the safety of drivers in the event of a collision. After careful consideration, the city settled on a metal case filled with foam, providing an optimal solution that minimizes potential harm.

The Picayune sign is not the only one in the works. The city has plans to install an additional sign on Exit 4 for northbound traffic. These signs will serve as iconic landmarks and welcoming symbols for travelers passing through the area.

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Initially, the budget allocated for each sign was set at $42,000. However, when the city received a quote of $131,000 for the project, it became evident that the expenses were far beyond the proposed budget.

Determined to find a more cost-effective solution, the city revisited the drawing board and engaged with various companies to obtain competitive quotes. Through diligent negotiations, the town reduced the cost to approximately $37,950 per sign, ensuring the project remained within budget.

The final estimated cost of each sign, inclusive of landscaping and the beautification of the surrounding area, is projected to be $45,199.50. The landscaping phase is scheduled to commence before the sign installation, with with the sign expected to be installed by the end of August. By enhancing the surroundings, the city aims to create an inviting atmosphere for residents and visitors.

To expand the project to include the second sign on Exit 4, the city will seek approval from the City Council during its second meeting in July. This decision will mark another significant milestone in realizing the Picayune Sign project.