Musician David Byrne might have asked "where does that highway lead to;" however, he did not ask where the signs on the highway originated.  The PennDOT Sign Shop, located behind the District 8-0 headquarters in Harrisburg is where signs for installation along the state maintained highways are produced.  They make signs for not only PennDOT, but also the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.  Local municipalities can also purchase signs for use along their streets from the shop.

Main Building

The main building where most of the fabrication takes place. (Jeff Kitsko)

Supply Storage

Shelves full of 3M Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting, which is a material that reflects headlights at night for better visibility of a sign. (Jeff Kitsko)

Sign Being Fabricated

Sign in the process of fabrication.  The sheet of metal is slid into the machine, where a roller applies the 3M sheeting onto it, in this case yellow as can be seen spooled above. (Jeff Kitsko)

Lettering Application

Lettering being applied to a destination sign which will be used near Johnstown in District 9-0. (Jeff Kitsko)

Safety Corridor Sign Assembly

Sheet of lettering being applied onto a Safety Corridor sign.  The letters are first laid out on a piece of wax paper to align them properly, then using small rollers, are applied to the sign itself. (Jeff Kitsko)

Sign Fabrication Equipment

Another side of the sign shop, not in use this day.  The overlays used to be applied by straight edges made of pine; however, they would absorb humidity and end result in warping. (Jeff Kitsko)

Route Shield Blanks

Blanks route shields of all sizes and all types, sitting and awaiting numbers.
(Jeff Kitsko)

The Warehouse

The warehouse that stores the finished products.  Whatever type of sign is needed, it can be found here. (Jeff Kitsko)

Newer Plotter

Plotter that automatically cuts out letters from a sheet of 3M material, numbers, other characters, etc. with exact precision to be applied to signs.  The objects to be cut out are stored in a computer that is connected to the plotter. (Jeff Kitsko)

Old Plotter

An older plotter in the same room as the other plotter that does the same job, but a little slower.  Before the use of computers, employees would have to cut out the characters by hand as best they could. (Jeff Kitsko)

Old Plotter

Map showing the routes between the Sign Shop and the district offices.  The ones closer to Harrisburg such as 5-0 and 6-0 send trucks for signs more often than ones such as 1-0 and 2-0. (Jeff Kitsko)