STERLING – If you've driven across the First Avenue Bridge since Monday, you probably noticed new banners on the light poles.
The "Welcome to Sterling" banners were put up by Sterling Public Works on Monday, said Sterling City Manager Scott Shumard. The million-dollar bridge reconstruction project was finished earlier this month.
The banners feature highlights from sites across Sterling, such as the Dillon Home and Sterling High School.
About 30 banners were put on the bridge to welcome visitors to Sterling, Shumard said.
Some in the community are curious why the signs don't also welcome visitors to Rock Falls. That's because the First Avenue Bridge is Sterling's bridge. The city paid for the entire cost of the decorative railing and lights for the banners.
Sterling has worked with the IDOT since before the major reconstruction project began, with the intent of eventually putting up the signs.
Because it paid for the cost of the railing and lights, the banner space is Sterling's to work with.
Shumard said holiday banners will be up later this year. The plan is to rotate the displays for major events in the community, such as Fiesta Days and Dog Days, he said.
"The bridge is a beautiful looking piece of infrastructure," Shumard said. "We always had the idea to put up banner brackets to feature things we have in Sterling."
Sauk Valley Media reporter Kiran Sood covers government and happenings in Sterling and Rock Falls. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 800-798-4085, ext. 529.