New welcome signs point to Arlington

ARLINGTON — A four-year project to install new welcome signs at each of Arlington’s five major points of entry is coming to a close this month.

The final sign will be installed on the north edge of town where Highway 9 crosses the Stillaguamish River.

Each sign is a 14,000-pound concrete slab, 10 feet high and 15 feet wide, adorned with art commissioned from local artists. The final sign will feature a powder-coated sheet metal emblem of a horse and barn, designed and built by Camano Island artist Caroline Sumpter*, who has a studio in town, and finished by Superior Powder Coating Inc. of Arlington as a community service.

“We’re just waiting for it all to come together to install,” said Sarah Arney of the Arlington Arts Council.

Installation will happen in the next couple of weeks, Arlington Recreation Manager Sarah Lopez said.

The two signs installed this year cost $20,000, with $15,000 in funding coming from a Snohomish County tourism promotion grant, which is funded by lodging taxes. The Arts Council also contributed $3,000 for the art pieces on the signs. Three other signs were funded and installed in 2011 and 2012.

Earlier in 2013 the fourth of five signs was installed off Highway 530 near Twin Rivers Park at the northeast entrance of town. It features a heron emblem designed by Camano Island artist Shinobu Kawaoka.

The other welcome signs are in place at the south edge of town at Highways 9 and 531, the western entrance at 172nd Street NE and Smokey Point Boulevard and at the northwestern gateway at Highway 530 at Island Crossing.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165 or cwinters@heraldnet.com.

Correction, Jan. 2, 2014: Caroline Sumpter’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.

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