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As the Sign Turns: Final Episode?

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A family of tourists is at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, but it’s finished with the galleries and ready to hit Maymont’s animal farm to pet some goats. Can someone, uh, point dad in the right direction? Help is on the way very soon — the city swears. After years of waiting and delays, the city awarded a $550,000 contract this week to create way-finding signs, indicating — hopefully — that their production is imminent. Color-Ad of Manassas won the work. The city initially wanted to have directional signs installed by the fall of 2012 to coincide with an expected crush of visitors for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Neither the signs nor the crush of visitors materialized. Then the city missed a second deadline — this year’s Collegiate Road Nationals bike race. The city’s director of planning, Mark Olinger, pledges that they’ll be up in time for the much bigger 2015 World Road Championships. Olinger says designing the signs is more complicated than it sounds. Color-coded by district, the signs were designed back in 2011. They’ll replace the mishmash of faded blue and green ones that offer visitors vague hints as to the whereabouts of certain attractions. The plan calls for 74 signs that direct visitors to attractions around downtown, and another 25 orienting them to attractions in the vicinity of the Boulevard. The city has budgeted $1.7 million for the project.

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