SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- New welcome signs promoting the Pocono Mountains are starting to pop up on interstates as part of a project more than 15 years in the making.
Driving along Interstate 80 near Delaware Water Gap, there's a new sign greeting drivers as they make their way from New Jersey into Monroe County. It reads, "Welcome to the Pocono Mountains."
The welcome signs are being put up by PennDOT, but the project itself was created by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. Eight welcome signs in total will be installed all throughout the region on Interstates 80, 476, 380, 84, and Route 33.
"We have 11 tourism regions within the Commonwealth, so it gives guests a real sense of arrival, which is awesome. It also gives our own residents here the fact that, hey, we are in a major tourism destination. Let’s be proud of that," said Chris Barrett, president of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
This sign project is 15 years in the making. People at the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau are thrilled to finally see it come to life.
Barrett says the project costing more than $100,000 was paid for through state tax dollars with some help from the visitors bureau.
"We are just really, really happy that for once, we are hitting a lot of different things with one sign, which usually doesn't happen. We are thrilled," Barrett said.
People who live here think the signs are great, too.
"I am a what, 18, 19-year resident here, so, yes, I think it's nice that we promote our area," said Henry Brown.
Two signs have already been installed. The rest will be put into place in the coming weeks.