New highway advertising signs coming to Valley, up to $10 million in revenue expected

PHOENIX - Hungry? Need a hotel? Need gas?

The big blue advertising signs you are used to seeing advertising roadside services on rural Arizona highways are now coming to the Valley.

Three hundred exits in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff have been identified as places where the advertising signs will be installed, Timothy Tait with the Arizona Department of Transportation, said.

Tait said the signs have been seen for 25 years on Arizona's rural highways and it provides useful information for drivers, as well as supports the State Highway Fund.


Phoenix will be the first urban area to see the highway signs.

The first signs have already gone up along Interstate 17 and Loop 101. More recently, the signs can be seen on Interstate 10 between the US 60 and Loop 202.

ADOT has provided ABC15 with a planned buildout of where the signs will be placed.

By 2015, the advertising signs will be seen in all areas of the Valley.  

"Drivers can expect to see the logo signs in the Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff markets over the next few years," Tait told ABC15.


If you want to get your business on the sign, there are a few requirements that need to be met, as outlined by ADOT on the Grand Canyon State Logo Signs website.

1.       A sign must advertise a qualified travel-related business that is located three miles from the exit.

2.       If a gas service business: Provide gasoline, provide restroom, provide a public telephone.

3.       If a food service business: Provide food license, provide restroom, provide public telephone.

4.       If a lodging service business: Provide five or more rooms, provide telephone, provide restroom, have license.


There is a competitive bidding process ADOT has created to win your way onto a sign.

According to Tait, the top six bidders will secure a spot on the sign for their business' logo.

So if you wish to see your business on a sign, you need to place a bid.

"In order to keep it fair for all interested businesses, the second bid prevails in the process, meaning the highest bidder will pay the second-highest bid," Tait said.

Tait told ABC15 the bidding system was established to make sure it was a fair process and that businesses don't overbid.

All bids are public and are available for viewing online. According to ADOT, the minimum bid is $3,200 a year for a logo sign in both directions in urban areas.

More recently, Carrabba's Italian Grill at I-10 and Ray Road paid $4,800 to have their business on the sign, Einstein Bros. Bagels paid $3,200 to be on the same sign.

A minute up the highway on I-10 and Elliot Road, Olive Garden paid $8,700 and Starbucks paid $4,250.

According to Tait, "The total gross revenue in fiscal year 2013 for ADOT's rural logo sign program was $2.3 million, most of which will go into the State Highway Fund for transportation projects. The rural and urban logo sign programs combined are expected to generate $6 to $10 million annually, once the build out is complete across the state in several years (three to five years)."

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