SUMTER, S.C. — If you’ve been driving through Sumter recently, you might have noticed something new. Updated street signs are being hung throughout the city in a project that’s expected to be completed by the end of summer.
"They look good. They make everything look nice and it’s beautiful," Sumter resident Naimah Ford said about the signs. "This is nice to see and nice to really experience."
The new signs feature black writing on a white background instead of the traditional green signs issued by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
"We tried for something different that we thought would make Sumter have a little signature look," Sumter Administrative Services Director Staci Johnson said.
The new signs are nearly seven and a half feet tall compared to the old signs, which are 37 inches long.
Johnson has been heading up the project, which is bringing 30 new signs to the highest traffic intersections throughout the city, according to data from the SCDOT.
"We’ve basically doubled the size of them to make them easier to read. We went with the white and the black because it’s just a cleaner look and if you’re approaching an intersection whether it be rainy, sunny, or at night, you’re going to easily be able to tell where you’re going," Johnson explains.
Johnson tells me the signs are being installed at night, starting around 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. to cut down on traffic disruption. They come from the city’s hospitality tax and are part of Mayor David Merchant’s mission to “invest, invite and serve.”
"We’re investing so that we can be more inviting and serve the community," Johnson says.
City crews are expected to close lanes while installing the new signs at each intersection. Johnson says the recent rain is delaying the project, but it still should be completed by the end of the summer.