Crews Start Removing Highway ‘I Love NY’ Tourism Signs
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of New York interstate highway tourism signs at the center of a yearslong spat between the federal government and the Cuomo administration are being removed and relocated, state transportation officials said Thursday.
The Department of Transportation said crews for the agency and the Thruway Authority have begun removing the "I Love NY" signs along the Thruway system and other state highways, including Interstate 87 linking New York City and the Canadian border in northern New York.
In 2014, the state went ahead with plans to install hundreds of signs touting various components of New York's tourism industry despite being told by the Federal Highway Administration the signage didn't comply with federal regulations and therefore were illegal.
More than 500 signs wound up being installed in groups of five: a "motherboard" followed by four follow-up signs. The signs cost New York taxpayers more than $8 million to make and install.
The state faced losing $14 million in federal highway funding if it didn't remove all the signs by Sept. 30. An agreement announced just before the deadline kept the funding in place.