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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Oregon has purchased a solar powered message board that will improve traffic safety.

City council last month unanimously approved the purchase of a Solartech MB2-1548 340 watt solar power full matrix message board with cellular remote and radar from American Construction Equipment  Supply, Inc.,  Maumee, for $19,394.34.

“It’s an LED message board with changeable scrolling copy predominately geared towards vehicle safety,” said Mayor Mike Seferian.

Public Service Director Paul Roman said the message board, which will be purchased through the Federal Supply Schedule Contract Program administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), is to be used for construction projects. He said the city purchased a similar message board in 2008.

“In terms of warning the traffic of an upcoming closure, this probably has to be one of our best tools of communicating to the public,” said Roman. “As much as you want to try other methods of letting people know about something, when you see the same sign on your way to and from work, it sticks in the brain. And that date of when you’re going to close, it really works well. With only having one, a lot of times, we’re picking which direction has the most traffic, and that’s the place where we put the sign. Ideally, you really want one in each direction.”

To rent a solar message board can cost between $500-$1,000 per week, said Roman.

“I know we purchased fixed signs made out of plastic board. Even those are $100 per sign. I really think this is one of the most cost effective ways of letting the public know about an upcoming project as well as directing them through a construction zone. It’s a very useful tool,” said Roman.

Councilman Sandy Bihn, a long-time environmental activist, praised the choice of a solar powered message board.

“In terms of the source of energy, they’re more efficient and green,” she said. “I certainly applaud the use of solar and cutting down on the need for other kinds of fuels for these signs. They do work extremely well. It’s been extremely useful. I think you’ve done a good job telling the public ahead of time and letting us know what’s going on. I’m sure the same thing will happen with Wheeling. With the projects we have, this is really needed.”

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