Bye bye Blago - Illinois road signs torn down

Jake Turcotte

Usually a honk of the horn denotes a problem on the road. Like the driver who forgets that green means go. Or the guy who drives the speed limit in the far left lane.

Sometimes a honk is celebratory though. Like when you are following the bride and groom after a wedding. Or when your team wins the Super Bowl.

Or when Rod Blagojevich signs are torn down.

Tear down this sign

That's what is happening this weekend. Across the state of Illinois, giant road signs bearing the name of the former governor are being taken down, leaving many motorists in a jolly mood.

Back in 2004, 32 road signs were erected over tollway plazas reading, "Open Road Tolling--Rod R. Blagojevich Governor."

These road signs cost the State of Illinois $480,000 to erect and helped to keep Blago's approval rating high (remember it was at 4 percent before the scandal broke).

Honk if you love Blago

But no more. With the impeachment of Blago, the signs bearing his name are going too. Road workers were out in force taking the signs down and replacing them with boring signs that only tell the motorists where they are.

Boring or not, drivers seemed to like it.

"A symphony of truck horns blasting and cars tooting approval accompanied two workers atop an aerial lift who fastened three blue, aluminum panels over the disgraced ex-governor's name," writes one Chicago reporter.

Four Chicago TV outlets had helicopters hovering over the sign removal crews. One reporter called it "history in the making".

Out with the old

One Chicago columnist could not resist making the comparison with the fall of Saddam Hussein -- a harsh and clearly ironic observation.

"Sure, fancy-pants foreign correspondents can drone on about witnessing jubilant Iraqis tearing down the statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003," writes Marni Pyke. "But I had the once-in-a lifetime opportunity Friday of watching former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's name vanish from a sign on the Boughton Road toll plaza overlooking I-355."

Quinn tollroad?
The signs should be gone by tomorrow. The cost of the removal is cheap compared to the cost to put them up: only $15,000.

The new governor has asked that his name not be emblazoned on the replaced signs.

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