02/09/07 — Goldsboro could soon get new signs at both ends of U.S. 117

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Goldsboro could soon get new signs at both ends of U.S. 117

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 9, 2007 1:53 PM

Goldsboro might soon no longer be invisible to drivers along U.S. 117.

With the help of state Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne County, the Goldsboro City Council has requested that the N.C. Department of Transportation place two "Welcome to Goldsboro" signs at the city limits on each end of the highway.

The sign on U.S. 117 North, coming from Mount Olive, will be placed on the bypass after Arrington Bridge Road and before the George Street exit.

A second one on U.S. 117 South, coming from Wilson, will be placed on the bypass in the vicinity of the Salem Church Road overpass before the U.S. 70 exit.

Both are long overdue, Kerr said.

"I guess when DOT built the bypass they didn't have any signs showing where to get to Goldsboro. Between here and Wilson, there's no recognition of Goldsboro," he said. "If you go through any other town, they've got signs and Goldsboro doesn't. We need to get the right signs up on the road.

"It's something everybody wants to do, and I'm just doing what I can to get this thing going."

Already the city council has approved a resolution asking the DOT to install the signs.

"This is something we've been working on," city manager Joe Huffman said. "We really felt like we were getting a lot of input from the public about missing Goldsboro and missing turns and how they felt they needed to be better marked."

Funding for the project, though, will have to come from the city.

The city also must finalize a design for the signs, which likely will say something along the lines of "Welcome to Goldsboro, home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base," with both the city and base logos on them.

"Everything else is in order and ready to go. I don't know how long it'll take," city planner Darryl Best said. "It shouldn't be too long, but with DOT you can't put a timetable on when they'll have it out there. We're just hoping it won't be too long from now."

The city's businesses hope that once the signs are in place, they will direct more people into Goldsboro, said Betsy Roseman, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce director of travel and tourism.

"Signs are very instrumental. Right now, they have signs to Kinston and New Bern, but nothing to Goldsboro. (Coming south) by the time they get to the business side of 117, they're already in the southern end of town," she said. "I think if people realized they were at Goldsboro, they'd be more apt to stop to use our restaurants, gas stations and hotels.

"You can never put up too much signage."

Along those same lines, she continued, the chamber is planning to work with DOT and the N.C. Department of Tourism to install historical marker signs directing people downtown and to the Waynesborough Historical Village.

"That's something we will be pursuing later this year," Ms. Roseman said.