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Lions sign welcomes visitors to Ironton

Published 12:10am Sunday, September 8, 2013

Travelers of one of Ironton’s busiest thoroughfares may have noticed a new sign above the historic State Route 75 highway tunnel near the Ironton Hills Shopping Center.

The 6-foot-tall by 16-foot-wide wooden welcome sign was recently installed at the overlook by the Ironton Lions Club. The sign was made by Awards Plus.

“We wanted to do something for the community so we thought a nice welcome sign might work,” Lou Pyles, Lions Club member, said. “We got busy on that. I think it turned out really nice for the community and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback on that.”

Tony Howard, Lions president, said volunteers from the club helped install the sign over a few weekends after many test designs were put up.

“We drove up the (U.S. 52) ramp to see if it was visible,” Howard said, adding that club members also visited the site at night to test out the lighting.

Howard said the Lions hope the new sign will draw attention to the site that is above the former highway tunnel the Lions turn into a haunted attraction ever October as a fundraiser.

“We want to draw attention to the tunnel and the overlook,” Howard said. “And it’s something for the city to welcome visitors.”

Howard also said the club encourages people to use the overlook for exercise.

A few years ago, the club put in hundreds of hours rebuilding the walkway.

“A lot of people use that for cardio,” Pyles said. “When we did that, we did a video and it was recognized by the Lions Club International on their website. We had more than 600 hours putting that thing back together.”

Mayor Rich Blankenship applauded the efforts of the Lions Club for its work installing the sign.

“I think it’s a wonderful addition to the city,” Blankenship said. “A lot of hard work went into this project. To see it from the road is a testament to their hard work.”

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