Holiday Inn sign still up on mountain

ROOT – The Johnstown Holiday Inn sign on a mountain in the town – visible along the state Thruway – was still up Wednesday night.

The sign was scheduled to be taken down Monday.

State Department of Transportation Region 2 spokesman James Piccola said today the state – under a mandate from the Federal Highway Administration to have the sign removed – continues to work with the Holiday Inn. The state could lose federal highway funds if the sign doesn’t come down.

“DOT is not the judge and jury,” he said. “We’re kind of the enforcer.”

First erected in 1959, the current incarnation of the sign was supposed to be taken down Monday because it isn’t up to federal standards. It does not comply with the federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965. That law banned construction of outdoor advertising within 660 feet of the highway’s right-of-way in urban areas and beyond 660 feet in rural areas visible from the highway.

Holiday Inn Manager Jim Landrio hasn’t returned phone calls this week seeking comment.