Minooka signs installed on interstateBy Emily Beckett Published 1:49pm Friday, September 21, 2012
A three-year process to have Minooka Park signs installed on Interstate 65 in Jemison is now complete.
Four state-issued signs for the park – two alongside the north- and southbound lanes and two on the Exit 219 ramps – were added to the blue “Attractions” signs on I-65 Thursday.
The signs feature a logo with the park’s name and an RV symbol to catch the eyes of travelers looking for a place to stop and camp for the night.
Park Manager Gerald Arrington developed the logo with help from C&C Trophy in Clanton, and ALDOT approved it.
“We think that’ll really help us,” Arrington said of the RV symbol. “The campground is doing real good on the weekends. We think this will help with some weekday traffic, also.”
Before the signs came to fruition, the Alabama Department of Transportation required that the park meet certain requirements, such as being located a certain distance from the interstate, having a paved entrance, expanding its hours of operation and offering a minimum of four recreational activities available to the public.
“Then there’s a lot of paperwork involved and getting it done,” Arrington said. “The Department of Transportation has to come and inspect your location.”
In addition, the city of Jemison had to install a “trailblazer” sign at the intersection of County Road 42 and Highway 31 to tell people which way to turn for the park.
The state will charge the county an annual fee of $1,400 a year to maintain Minooka’s four signs on the interstate, plus a $300 one-time installation fee, but Arrington described the fees as “very cost effective” compared to paying for a billboard advertisement every month.
“It’s well worth the price for the amount of traffic we think it will generate in the park,” Arrington said.
The park is open Wednesday–Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and activities include RV camping, fishing, hiking and horseback riding.
The RV campground is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“Once we got the RV part put in, that gave us all the activities that we needed to have,” Arrington said. “That’s worked out real well for us.”
For more information about Minooka Park, call (205) 312-1376.