AP NEWS

County swapping street signs

May 6, 2019

Drivers traveling outside of city limits may notice that the color of some street signage has shifted from red to white.

Ector County street signs are getting a new look in order to comply with the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The transition swaps red street signs with white lettering for signs with a white background and black lettering.

Highways and Streets Director Evans Kessey said there are 4,868 signs in Ector County that will need to be replaced at a cost of about $1.2 million to increase public safety and comply with state requirements.

He said this change is needed because the county has been out of compliance since 2003 and failure to adhere to signage standards could leave the county liable in situations where a crash occurs that could be attributed to inadequate, inappropriate or noncompliant traffic control devices.

The TMUTCD states that the only acceptable alternative background colors for street signs other than the normal guide sign color of green are blue, brown or white.

Major arterial roadways are the first areas in the county to receive the redesigned street signage and other areas will soon follow.

The Ector County Highways and Streets Department has installed fewer than 200 signs since February at various intersections of arterial roads in the county. Two areas that have already been completed are Yukon Road from West Loop 338 to Grandview Avenue as well as Farm-to-Market Road 1936 from Interstate 20 to State Highway 302.

After arterial roadways are addressed, the next phase will focus on residential areas of the county. Precinct 2 and Precinct 3 are expected to receive new sign installation first.

Kessey said resources and staff are limited in his department so he is prioritizing areas that will need fewer signs replaced overall.

“Part of Precinct 2 and Precinct 3 are in the city limits so we will do those faster as compared to Precinct 4 and Precinct 1,” he said.

The majority of the 585 miles of roadway in the county is in Precinct 1 and Kessey said that factors into how long replacing signage will take. He said the department plans to complete the transition for all of Ector County by 2021.

“One to two years is what we’re looking at, but the goal is to finish faster,” he said.