AASHTO Journal

Sign Auction Nets WYDOT $33,005 for Road Improvement Projects

When the Wyoming Department of Transportation needed to decommission a few of its "Welcome to Wyoming" highway signs, it chose to gauge public interest in buying them.

The result: It raised $33,005 from an auction of just five signs, money it is putting into the department's road improvement fund.

The auction marked the first time WYDOT gave the public the opportunity to bid on decommissioned signs. Until now it has recycled them.

dollarpump.jpgWYDOT changes the welcome signs whenever the state issues a new license plate. The state changes its license plates every eight years, and the welcome signs usually last about the same amount of time, it said.

The 8-by-4-foot aluminum signs for the auction came from different parts of Wyoming.

"The public was very excited in obtaining signs WYDOT is no longer using," said Gregg Fredrick, the department's chief engineer. "We felt the auction would provide the best and fairest way possible for the public to own a piece of WYDOT's history. These signs are a unique aspect of transportation because they welcomed visitors to our state every day."

Besides getting extra money for road work, the event also made the day of winning bidders.

"Tiffany Gamble loves everything Wyoming," WYDOT said in a news release. "As a collector, she's always on the lookout for items with the famous bucking horse logo that represents her home state."

So when the Casper resident learned about the auction, it said, she "immediately placed a bid that won her a sign."

The announcement said that "for the five winners like Gamble, they not only helped put money back into road improvements but they now own a piece of WYDOT's history."

Gamble, it said, plans to proudly display her sign where she works, at the Hat Six Travel Center in Casper.

"I'm not sure exactly where we'll put it, but I'm going to talk to my managers to figure out the best spot," said Gamble, who is the business adviser for the travel center. "I know I want it to be displayed similarly to how it was on the interstate."

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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