WASTE WATCH: Florida to spend millions on new welcome sign

Updated: Monday, January 20 2014, 08:37 PM CST
WASTE WATCH: Florida to spend millions on new welcome sign story image
FLORIDA  --  The Florida Department of Transportation is giving the welcome signs at the state line a makeover. It comes at a high price tag, $2.8 million dollars.

Each year, nearly 45 million people drive into Florida. Lawmakers want visitors to feel like they are in the Sunshine State, as soon as they get here.
   
So they are ditching the current signs and replacing them with 30' high twin towers connected with a bridge and the words Florida Welcomes You. Monique Lambert traveled all the way from Canada so she's seen a whole a lot of state signs.
   
"South Dakota, North Dakota, Missisippi, Alabama." She says the design of the new sign will leave a lasting impression. But it's coming at a large price, $2.8 million dollars.
   
Sunny Diggs has visited Pensacola several times from Oklahoma. He likes it so much, he's moving here. Now that he will now be paying Florida taxes, he thinks the money would be better spent on something else.
   
Diggs said, " I think Florida speaks for itself, I don't think you need a bridge and a tower."
The signs will be on I-10, I-75, and I-95. It's all a  part of the state's push to get  a 100 million people visit each year. Despite the cost, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward says it's worth it.
   
He said, "When you arrive in a state, you are excited. If you have the whole family packed in  the car. It's like wow we are in Florida.  We are going to Disney, we are going to Miami, going to Pensacola. When they arrive, we want them excited and when they leave, I want them to be like hey I want to move to Florida."

The new signage is expected to go up the fall of 2015.
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