City selects contractor
Agreement to upgrade Conyers signs approved

CONYERS - Plans to update two high-profile signs within the city of Conyers have been given the green light, and a contractor has been selected to do the work at a cost of approximately $360,000.

Conyers Director of Special Projects David Spann said Thursday the city has finalized an agreement with JH Signs, Graphics and Displays to replace the aging sign on Iris Drive at Interstate 20, which has become a well-known landmark since its construction leading up to the 1996 Olympic equestrian events at the Georgia International Horse Park.

The large stonework pedestal will remain, but the signs at the top will be replaced at a cost of $268,348.

The current sign measures 37 feet wide by 33 feet tall. The city's agreement with JH calls for the new sign to measure 30 feet wide by 20 feet tall. According to Spann, while the finished sign will be smaller, advances in technology will ensure a highly visible landmark.

Plans call for two parts to the sign: a permanent top half that will bear some sort of welcoming message, such as "Welcome to Conyers, site of the 1996 Olympics," and a bottom half consisting of an LED reader board, which will be capable of displaying messages and graphics in billions of colors - all controlled by computer from the Conyers Welcome Center in Olde Town.

Due to a conflict as a result of the relocation of the Welcome Center, the sign will no longer be able to bear paid advertising. "Once we moved the Welcome Center off site, that sign was no longer an on-premise sign. ... Every advertising board has to be 500 feet from the next one along I-20," Spann said. "So, the DOT says we can't do ads."

However, the sign will still be able to promote events presented by the city, as well as highlight specific public service messages, he said.

Plans are also now in place to replace the Georgia International Horse Park sign at the intersection of Ga. Highway 138 and Centennial Olympic Parkway. JH Signs was selected for that project as well, with a bid of $90,396.

Spann said plans call for the sign to be moved much closer to Ga. 138 - 85 feet from the state highway's center line - making it more visible to passersby.

The sign will measure 17 feet wide by 20 feet high, with a 13-foot-wide LED message center and six semi-permanent illuminated tenant signs.

Requests for proposals for the two sign projects were sent out by the city about five months ago, Spann said, and JH Signs was the lowest among four bidders. The highest bid totaled almost $890,000.

Spann said the final plans for the signs will be presented to city council members at their next meeting Wednesday.

Construction of the signs is expected to take about two months, Spann said, after which it should only take a day or two to erect them.

Colin Stewart can be reached at colin.stewart@rockdalecitizen.com.