|Updated: 9/26/2012 5:44 pm
||Published: 9/26/2012 4:09 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - You probably don't know them, but without them -- we'd all be lost.
"Every day it's no down time. Work five days a week, ten hour days. it's busy," explained Keith Pounders, who's one of eight Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department sign makers. They make nearly every one of the signs drivers see on the state's highways.
"Good job," said Pounders. "No need to worry about a layoff."
674 miles of Arkansas' highways are currently under construction and every time a lane closes or an exit changes, it's time for a new sign. Just in the past year, Pounders and his fellow sign makers, like Ken Leopard, have made 67,337 signs, according to the Highway Department.
As Leopard laughed, "I'm the self-proclaimed hardest working man in Arkansas."
The Highway Department said the 67,337 signs cost $3,185,085, or about $47 per sign. The good news is that they each last about ten years, but that doesn't mean the job is about to get any easier for the sign makers. That's because a lot of the big highway construction projects in the state aren't expected to wrap-up for years, meaning the demand for new signs won't drop-off any time soon.
"Gonna keep working hard," said Pounders. "Doing the best we can to keep up and make the state proud."
The Highway Department recycles as many signs as they can. If that's not possible, they sell them for scrap.