Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that five of the seven new gateway welcome signs have been installed along Rhode Island interstates. These signs display a newly-branded logo for Rhode Island and are part of the highway beautification program established by the Governor 3 years ago.
The signs were designed to pay tribute to Rhode Island's rich Industrial Revolution and maritime heritage. They feature authentic Colonial paint colors, Colonial typography, turnbuckle decorative elements and recycled period granite block quarried in Coventry and Westerly in the 1870s. They are 27.5 feet tall and 15.3 feet wide.
"Thank you to the design committee and the other government agencies involved in making these signs a 'reality,' Governor Chafee said. "Rhode Island is a beautiful state with many assets. With these welcoming markers, we salute our history and accomplishments."
"Given Rhode Island's geographic location, our highways are vital links not only in moving people and goods throughout our state but also in connecting us more broadly to the nation," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "They are also often the first impression people have of Rhode Island. Through this project, we are proud to play a small part in beautifying our gateways and investing in our future while at the same time paying tribute to our past."
By June 1, the seven full-sized signs will be installed at the state's major gateways. Smaller sized versions will be installed at the remaining state road entry points by the end of 2014.
The new, full-sized signs can be found in the following locations:
-I-95 North at the Connecticut line
-I-95 South at the Massachusetts line
-I-195 West in East Providence
-I-295 South in Cumberland
-Rt 146 South in North Smithfield
-Rt 24 in Tiverton
Governor Chafee's Gateway Beautification project was initiated in 2011. In addition to the welcome signs, the project includes seven murals depicting original art, and a major new landscape installation on I-95 between the S Curves in Pawtucket and the Massachusetts state line.
The Discover Beautiful Rhode Island sign design is intended to present a new and fresh message to visitors to the state. The design was developed with the assistance of a review committee, which included: Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts; Director Michael Lewis, Rhode Island Department of Transportation; Director Janet Coit, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; Ronald Lee Fleming of the Townscape Institute; Former President Roger Mandle, Rhode Island School of Design; Executive Director Valerie Talmage, Preserve Rhode Island; Jerauld Adams, Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation; artist Gretchen Dow Simpson; and Rhode Island Tourism Director Mark Brodeur.