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Eastgate street signs fading from view
Eastgate, we have a problem.

A number of Eastgate street signs have completely faded from green background to white, making it nearly impossible for visitors to identify exactly where they are without referring to their GPS or iPhone apps.

The problem seems to be its greatest in the housing tract east of Eastgate and south of Helen Perry Road. Many street signs that face the south and west have turned a white color. Street signs affected include those on Wise Oak, Old Oak, Winter Oak, Nestled Oak, Wild Oak, Giant Oak, Northern Oak lanes, Ariano Lane, Copperwood, Oak Glen, Annigoni Court, Helen Perry and Kempas Court.

According to City Engineer Toby Wells, the city has ordered 119 replacement signs which should arrive any day.

"It's not an uncommon experience for street signs to fade," said Wells. But he also added that the Eastgate signs "faded more quickly than anyone expected."

"The signs were installed by the developers and I am sure met city standards," said Mike Brinton, an engineer with the city. "For some reason the ink used on this batch of signs has not held up as long as we would normally expect and have bleached out in the sun."

Wells noted that some of the Eastgate signs have been faded as long as he's been with the city of Ceres, which is a year and a half.

Once the developer orders and pays for the signs as part of the subdivision cost, their replacement becomes the responsibility of the city. In this case, the batch of replacement signs is costing $7,537 of general fund monies. Wells also noted that "the city has not exactly been flush with cash."

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maintenance of Signs and Sign Supports document found online, guide signs are critical for driver navigation "and that the absence of these signs could cause motorists to miss their route and destination, resulting in less than efficient navigation. It can also lead to erratic maneuvers, such as slowing or stopping in the roadway and making abrupt turns." The federal agency said replacement of damaged or missing guide signs should be done within "approximately seven working days from notice, recognizing that timing of the replacement is dependent upon how critical the sign is. For example, a street name sign is essential for emergency responders to find streets and locations on those streets. Also, since many guide signs have to be specially fabricated due to the variation in the sign message, it may take a few days before they can be assembled or purchased."