I Love NY signs: State, federal government reach deal ahead of deadline

New York and federal government officials said they reached a last-minute deal Friday that will restore $14 million in highway funds that was withheld from the state because of hundreds of illegal I Love NY signs erected five years ago.

The sides said New York will come up with an “innovative experimental project” for the signs that will meet federal highway standards.

As a result, the Federal Highway Administration said it would give the state back the $14 million in funds that was withheld in February because of the years-long dispute over the more than 500 signs that are ubiquitous on New York highways.

The deadline to reach an agreement was Sunday, which is the end of the federal fiscal year.

“The Federal Highway Administration and New York State Department of Transportation have reached agreement on a path forward to resolve this matter,” the federal agency said in a statement.

“Based on NYSDOT’s written commitment to achieve compliance, FHWA is terminating the initial penalty and restoring the FY 2018 funds.”

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