Drivers on Interstate 75 are probably tired of the never-ending construction around Dayton and Cincinnati, but there are other things to see along the way.
Here are seven unique and quirky sights along I-75 to look out for on your next commute:
1. Giant Jesus
The 52-foot statue of Jesus outside Solid Rock Church, just north of the Monroe exit, doesn’t get quite the attention of the former “Touchdown Jesus” statue that stood in its place until lightning struck in June 2010. However, it’s equally hard to miss.
Officially called “Lux Mundi,” which is Latin for “Light of the World,” it has drawn the nickname of “Hug Me Jesus.”
2. Animals galore
Travelers going up and down I-75 will see a bunch of giraffes and horses on top of signs and buildings on the 11-acre Trader’s World property just south of Solid Rock Church, also at Exit 29 in Monroe.
Trader’s World advertises itself as a “shopping safari,” and its exterior décor of giraffes, gorillas, rhinos and more matches that theme. Customers are greeted by four stallion statues, and there are at least 40 giraffe statues on top of the 16 storefront buildings.
3. “We Build the USA”
Along the east side of the interstate when heading north near Springboro, there is a red, white and blue sign made out of what looks like sewage pipes with “We Build the USA” displayed in the middle.
It sits outside the Associated Builders and Contractors building, and an internet search leads to a “We Build the USA” initiative to promote careers in the construction industry. The “We Build the USA Challenge” encourages companies to promote the cause publicly by creating a sign out of building materials.
4. Dangling flag
You can always count on seeing the oversized American flag dangling from a crane to the west of I-75 in Moraine. Orbit Equipment Rental on East River Road set up the display on its property, and the flag flies daily.
5. Gateway to Soccer
The “Welcome to West Carrollton” arch across the highway from West Carrollton High School also identifies the town as the “Gateway to Soccer.” The label comes in part from the home of the Dayton Dutch Lions, a Premier Development League amateur soccer team that plays home games at the school’s DOC Stadium.
The Dutch Lions identify themselves as a “Gateway to Professional Soccer,” hence the sign across the interstate.
6. Lighted palm trees
Outside of Gamblers Paradise, seen on the west side of I-75 in Franklin, are about a half dozen lighted palm or fireworks trees that are visible at night from hundreds of yards away. They do their job in grabbing attention to the retail location for gaming equipment and casino supplies.
7. 111 Building
The infamous “111 building,” located downtown at 111 West First Street, is well-known for the large “111” lettering on its west wall, which is easily visible from the highway. The 161,165-square foot building houses Taylor Communications and other tenants.