New Hollywood-style Detroit sign installed along I-94 ahead of NFL Draft

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 09, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Drivers along eastbound I-94 will be welcomed into Detroit with a new Hollywood-style sign.

WATCH: Detroiters sound off on the Hollywood-style sign coming to freeways ahead of the NFL Draft:

Detroiters sound off on the Hollywood-style sign coming to freeways ahead of the NFL Draft

Crews started installing the 8-foot-tall letters around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. The city says the letters sit on 2-foot-tall cement posts, making for a total of 10 feet in height.

See the installation of the Hollywood-style sign:

See the installation of the Hollywood-style Detroit signs

"The thought is to make sure when our visitors come in to the city to visit Detroit, some for the first time, they’ll be welcomed by the gateway signage," said Deputy Chief Operating Officer Jessica Parker. "We partnered with the neighbors. We wanted to make sure that they had input. We wanted to include them with this process so it’s not just the city doing it, it’s the community."

Tuesday afternoon, neighbors gathered along the service drive to watch the installation process.

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Chris Hyman, who has lived in Southwest Detroit for around 40 years, was one of the first to watch the letters get installed.

"This is my neighborhood so when I come through and my kids come through, my nieces and nephews, your family they can see wow this is a good area. I wouldn’t mind coming here," said Hyman. "My first, initial (time) seeing the sign was horrible, didn’t like it. I’m like no let’s not go with that but now that I’m seeing it up close and personal, I would have put the old English D myself but it’s beautiful."

The sign is a part of the beautification process underway ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. The city will also be adding five smaller Detroit signs near I-75 at 8 Mile, I-96 at Telegraph, I-94 at Moross, Southfield at 8 Mile, and Southfield at Ford Rd.

"I was actually happy that they put it close in the inner city. Normally it’s on the outskirts. It’s a couple blocks over from the house so we can come and take pictures," said Felesia Reed-Gomez who lives near the new sign. "I think it’s so awesome. I was just telling my son. He said 'Mom, why you so excited about the Detroit sign?' And I say 'Son the city is coming back'."

All six signs cost the city a total of around $400,000 and were done in partnership with a Detroit sign maker, Fairmont Sign Company.

"We’re proud to be involved especially considering it’s going to be a monument for the city of Detroit with our name on it," said Nick Hanna with the sign company.

Richard Bojko, who has lived in the area for 25 years, says he’s hopeful the investment will stretch beyond what’s seen by visitors.

"Thought it was going to be all white letters but obviously it’s surprising to me that it’s a shade of green. It looks okay so far," said Bojko. "Hopefully it helps the neighborhoods too and not just downtown because I know downtown is thriving. It used to be the little neighborhoods like this that were thriving."

Thursday, DTE is scheduled to install the mechanisms, so the sign can illuminate at night. The city says weather permitting, the crew will install the remainder of the Detroit signs by Monday.