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DOT: 'I Love NY' highway signs will be taken down

(WHAM photo)

Albany, N.Y. (WHAM) - The New York State Department of Transportation announced Friday it will be taking down the 'I Love NY' road signs.

The decision comes one day after the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) said leaving the signs up could wind up costing the state $14 million in federal funding.

In a statement, the NYS DOT said the signs had fulfilled their purpose of supporting state tourism.

"Since the Governor initiated this branding effort, the number of tourists to New York State has increased by 18 percent and the direct economic impact of tourism on the State has skyrocketed by more than 20 percent," the statement read. "From Greater Niagara to Long Island, ‘I Love NY’ signs have helped get motorists off the roads and into mom-and-pop restaurants, shops, and historic destinations. This increased traffic has in turn boosted local economies that aren’t typical tourist attractions."

The Department of Transportation says it is planning to launch a new "I Love NY" campaign this coming summer. The "NY has it all" campaign will be said to feature print and television advertising, as well as, "new road signage."

The DOT says it will consult with the FHWA during the process of redesigning the signage for the new campaign. It adds the campaign will be summer-focused and will conclude before the FHWA's September deadline.

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