ELGIN – Dilapidated, faded and barely legible highway signs along the H.E. Bailey Turnpike are scheduled to be replaced in the coming year, says Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesman Jack Damrill.
Damrill said that there are 20 locations along the H.E. Bailey Turnpike that are being targeted for attention and that 35 total signs will be replaced “all along the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.” Those include several near the city of Elgin. Others are closer to Chickasha and are so faded as to be unreadable, which can cause problems for travelers.
“Most of the signs on the Bailey will be replaced probably starting after Christmas as we get the signs in and are able to get the crews out,” Damrill said.
Area residents and turnpike employees who spoke informally with Southwest Ledger expressed gratitude in learning that the signs were being replaced.
State Rep. Daniel Pae (R-Lawton) was a key legislator in getting the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority to increase the speed limit along certain stretches of turnpike as high as 80 miles per hour.
Pae told Southwest Ledger that he is pleased to hear that signage along the H.E. Bailey Turnpike – which he travels frequently – will be replaced.
“I’m glad to hear they are going to be doing this (replacing signs) during the winter months,” Pae said. “I think it is important to present travelers with a good, clean image of our state as they drive through.”
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is already in the process of replacing road signs along stretches of historic Route 66. This effort is to make the “Mother Road” more clearly marked for tourists and local motorists alike. In that case, 80 signs will be replaced, while 320 signs will be added across Route 66, according to ODOT.