The cost of an eye-catching Gasoline Alley sign has jumped by $100,000 to meet Alberta Transportation regulations.
Red Deer County had earmarked $150,000 for the LED-lit archway at the north entrance to Gasoline Alley. The price tag has now jumped to about $250,000, county council heard this week.
County manager Curtis Herzberg said that because the sign is located right next to Highway 2, more stringent provincial government construction standards applied. Footings are required to be larger and deeper than for a sign on a typical local roadway.
Required changes will not alter the appearance of the sign, which is expected to be in place before Christmas. It will be decked out with LED lights that can be programmed to change colour for special events.
Mayor Jim Wood said despite the price increase, the county is getting a deal.
“I thought we did pretty good (with the original cost estimate), and I still think that we have.”
The county decided to advertise Gasoline Alley with a sign after the recently completed $80-million Highway 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange project significantly altered the road system.
A road designed to funnel highway traffic into Gasoline Alley is so long, drivers have been unsure they are going the right way, the county found.
The entrance sign will stand at the north entrance of Gasoline Alley, near a roundabout at the top of Leva Avenue. The sign will also help slow down traffic as it nears the roundabout.
A City of Red Deer entrance sign built in advance of the 2019 Canada Winter Games cost about $750,000, which was below the $1-million budget.
The “Welcome to Red Deer” sign that was installed at the south end of the city earlier this year was recognized by the Sign Association of Canada and Sign Media Canada.
The sign, which drew some local criticism about the cost, won two awards — best freestanding sign and best in show — at the 2019 BOCSIes (Best of Canada’s Sign Industry awards).