The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jul. 14, 2024

State installing new welcome signs

VW independent staff/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Drivers entering Ohio will soon be welcomed with signs bearing the state’s new branding and slogan – Ohio, The Heart of it All. The signs will replace older and outdated signs at major entry points to the state, including eastbound U.S. 30 from Indiana.

Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Development announced the reimagined Ohio, The Heart of it All brand on May 10, during Ohio Tourism Day. The tagline was previously the state’s tourism slogan between 1984 and 2001.

“There is endless fun, excitement, joy, and adventure here in Ohio, but our state is more than just a travel destination,” DeWine said. “There is no better place to live, learn, work, and play, and now, everyone who crosses into Ohio will know that they’re entering the Heart of it All.”

In total, 36 new signs were made by the Ohio Department of Transportation Sign Shop in Columbus.

A new Welcome to Ohio – The Heart of it All sign like this one will go up on eastbound U.S. 30 at the Indiana-Ohio border. ODOT photo

Some of these new welcome signs will be installed by ODOT crews, while contractors will install others. The largest signs, measuring more than 40’ wide, will be hung on the arch that spans I-70 at the Indiana border in Preble County. District 1 workers will install the new sign on U.S. 30 once it arrives.

“Each letter, each element is put on by hand by our employees, piece-by-piece, letter-by-letter,” said ODOT Sign Shop Administrator Joshua Wilson. The ODOT Sign Shop manufactures nearly 100,000 signs each year.

“These signs act as a welcome mat, inviting visitors in and greeting residents coming home,” State Tourism Director Sarah Wickham said. “We want them to be beautiful and to represent our state’s pride, setting the tone for what you can expect during your time in our great state.”

Visitor spending hit $53 billion in Ohio last year, a 13 percent increase over 2021. The state recorded 233 million visits in 2022, including 47 million overnight stays.

The total cost of the signs is $59,990.12. The goal is to have all signs installed by December.

POSTED: 09/15/23 at 3:54 am. FILED UNDER: News