COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — Here in good ol’ "Grand Radips," we are very serious about our roads — the potholes, the orange barrels, and even the signs we adorn them with. So, really, it’s no surprise that people very quickly noticed some typos on multiple new road signs in Coopersville over the weekend.
"We all make mistakes," said MDOT’s Southwest region spokesperson Nick Schirripa. "There's no science here, somebody just made a mistake, and it didn't get caught until it was on a post."
It all started with an effort by the Michigan Department of Transportation to replace signs along I-96. The replacement process started in the fall of 2021 but crept into the spring of 2022 due to supply chain issues.
MDOT’s Southwest region spokesperson Nick Schirripa said the signs were put up sometime last week. Unfortunately for Coopersville, three of those new signs had some mix-ups.
"There were three signs total," Schirripa said. "Two of the Coopersville signs were missing the 's' and of course the lovely 'Grand Radips' sign."
Unfortunately for us fun-loving West Michiganders, the rogue signs have already been partially taken care of. The "Grand Radips" sign has been covered with tape, while the “Cooperville” signs have been taken down and replaced with the old ones.
Schirripa said new and improved signs will be up within the next week or two.
So how does the process of creating and hanging these signs work?
Schirripa explained that first, MDOT creates a shop drawing on paper and delivers that to a fabricator. After that, the project is out of their hands.
"This project was delivered by a contractor and overseen by a consultant," he said, "so there weren't MDOT eyes on any of this project."
But he said even for consultants and contractors, "we're human, just like everybody else."
"It's very easy to make a mistake sometimes, especially when you're talking about one sign out of hundreds," Schirripa added, "so it can be very easy to miss one thing."
“This project was delivered by a contractor and overseen by a consultant, so there weren't any MDOT eyes on this project,” he said. “So, it's really easy to make a mistake sometimes, especially when you're talking about one sign out of hundreds.”
We asked Schirripa who eats the cost of mistakes like this. He explained that if the contractors or fabricators make the mistake, they pay to fix it.
"We're not going to make taxpayers pay for the same sign twice when it's human error," he said.
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