Apr 18, 2024 - News

Detroit's new sign on I-94 lights up after dark

Detroit sign at night. Photo by Montez Miller via city of Detroit

The Detroit sign at night. Photo: Montez Miller via the city of Detroit

The new Detroit sign on I-94 might not live up to Hollywood's version. But after dark it's more popular than first thought.

The big picture: It took a few days for the installation's lights to internally illuminate at night in white, which social media users seemed to enjoy.

  • The letters are 8 feet tall and stand on 2-foot-tall concrete bases between Central Street and Cecil Avenue on eastbound I-94.

What they're saying: "Looks better at night ... like some of y'all," one Instagram user wrote in the comments of a post about the illuminated sign.

Between the lines: Before the lights turned on, the sign was the butt of jokes. Rapper Gmac Cash already made a song trashing the sign.

  • Mayor Mike Duggan blamed the criticism on a "fake" social media rendering that tricked the public into thinking we were getting a giant sign over the freeway.

Yes, but: The bright white shine during the evening gives the green sign new life.

Zoom in: Local sign company Fairmont is also making "Welcome to Detroit" signs that will be installed along the city's perimeter.

  • The contract for all the signs is $425,434, to be paid from the city's general fund.
  • The "Detroit" letters cost $269,275, while the five smaller "Welcome to Detroit" signs cost $135,900.

What's next: The "Welcome to Detroit" signs will be placed at the following locations: southbound M-39 at 8 Mile Road, northbound M-39 at Ford Road, southbound I-75 at 8 Mile Road, eastbound I-96 at Telegraph and westbound I-94 at Moross.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Detroit.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Detroit stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more