The blue ‘I Love NY’ road signs found along the state of New York's highways will soon come down, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.
Cuomo's top transportation officials announced Friday the state would soon remove the controversial highway signs, which have been at the center of a years-long feud between the federal government and the state over their safety and legality.
The announcement came a day after the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) docked the state $14 million in highway funds for installing the signs and ignoring various warnings to remove them. The FHWA gave the state until Sept. 30 to remove the signs and receive its money back.
In a joint statement, state Acting Transportation Commissioner Paul Karas and Matthew Driscoll, acting executive director of the Thruway Authority, said the signs will be removed and replaced well before the deadline. They painted the move as the ending of an advertising campaign for the state’s tourism industry. They said the new ‘I Love NY’ campaign will be 'NY has it all!'
New York spent $8.1 million installing 514 of the ‘I Love NY’ signs throughout the state since 2014. The spending came despite a 2013 order from the FHWA prohibiting the state from putting such signs up.
Karas and Driscoll said the state plans to reuse materials from the current signs to install new signs for the ‘NY has it all!’ campaign. Those signs will likely have to be approved by the FHWA before they can be installed if the state is to get the $14 million.