A plan to relocate billboards when interstate highways are rebuilt and expanded is near completion in the state senate. Senate Transportation chairman Bill Stouffer of Napton says the bill gives the transportation department flexibility in dealing with some signs.
Federal law requires the department to pay for relocating modern billboards when highways are expanded. Stouffer’s bill lets the transportation department decide whether to pay for moving older signs that do not comply with modern spacing requirements or to condemn them, buy them, and tear them down.
He says moving the non-conforming signs would reduce the costs of dealing with them by about 76%. The dollars saved, he says, depend on which highway project is involved. But Stouffer says a 2006 study showed the legislation could save $60-120 million dollars.
The Senate could send the bill to the House tomorrow before leaving on spring break.