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Signs, signs, everywhere wrecked because of Ian's windy demeanor

SIGNS SIGNS.jpg
Mike Braun
/
WGCU
Part of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ian as the storm scoured Southwest Florida was traffic signage and signals along many area thoroughfares.

Part of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Ian as the storm scoured Southwest Florida was traffic signage and signals along many area thoroughfares.

A representative of Lee County said the county's Department of Transportation (DOT) has been replacing some leaning and hanging signs but is still working through the process of completing and compiling damage assessments for the signs.

"Crews have completed the regulatory sign replacements (stop signs, speed limit signs, etc.)," said Betsy Clayton, Communications Director for Lee County Government.

A quick trip down Alico Road, Michael G. Rippe Parkway and Six Mile Cypress shows many signs on poles either leaning, twisted, bent, or lying prone. Some street identification signs are missing altogether.

After Ian's passage, the county estimated some 446 traffic lights with about 90 percent, 400 or so, having damage.

Signs on county roads are Lee DOT responsibility, and the state maintains the signs on roadways it is responsible for.

An FDOT representative said the hurricane damaged and destroyed signage throughout the District One area, which includes Lee, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Manatee, Okeechobee, Polk and Sarasota counties.

"Not long after, Hurricane Nicole damaged signage on Florida’s east coast," Patricia Pichette, FDOT District One communications specialist, said. "Inspections of the roadways in Southwest Florida began shortly after Hurricane Ian ended. These inspections continue. Crews have already started to address the leaning and misaligned sign panels. New signs were ordered and are being manufactured but at this time there is no specific date or schedule for replacement of these signs. Crews are working on replacing these signs as the signs are manufactured and or delivered."

The same responsibilities goes for municipalities that maintain the roads in their confines.
For example, a story Tuesday in The News-Press said there are 57,000 traffic signs throughout Cape Coral, and Hurricane Ian damaged 45,600 − 80 percent − of them. The winds, a near-Category 5, and storm surge warped, felled or otherwise bent signs from one end of the city to the other.

The News-Press story by reporter Luis Zambrano also said the damaged signs include 8,000 stop signs, of which 3,219 still need repairs. Additionally, Zambrano reports that crews from Broward County and Pompano Beach joined the city's public works department in making the repairs.

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