Potomac Mills Mall marked with new sign

(WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON — It’s back. A massive landmark sign that’s been MIA since February has finally been replaced.

If you’re heading down I-95 by Woodbridge, you’ll see an updated version of the iconic circular Potomac Mills sign.

A freak wind storm last winter blew the sign away — the same winds that knocked down the National Christmas Tree by the White House. On Saturday morning, ironically, high winds forced crews to wait about four hours before carefully hoisting the new sign onto its perch 140 feet above the interstate.

Caroline Green, marketing director at Potomac Mills Mall, says people don’t realize what a massive undertaking it is to reproduce a sign of such magnitude, and that’s why it’s taken so long.

“When you get close to it you realize how massive it is,” she says. “It’s actually 40-feet in diameter.”

Added to that, the sign weighs about 50, 000 pounds.

The new eco-friendly sign uses nearly 15,000 LED lights to keep alight.

“The energy savings are really dramatic.”

Also, she’s happy that this new sign is built tougher than the last one.

“Quite frankly, if we have another freak wind storm it won’t be damaged again,” she says.

The old sign had been in place about 25 years, since the mall’s opening. She says the sign is something of a mall mascot, that also helps guide visitors to the tourist destination in Virginia.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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