Get to I-82 from I-82 sign goes unnoticed

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 26, 2014 

interstate 82 kennewick

A sign for the interchange from eastbound Interstate 82 to northbound Highway 395 should tell drivers about how to get to Interstate 182, but incorrectly shows Interstate 82. Washington State Department of Transportation plans to fix the sign.

KAI-HUEI YAU — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

If you haven't noticed the sign telling motorists how to get to Interstate 82 from Interstate 82, you are not alone.

An average of 5,500 people a day drive by the large green cantilever sign, which stands above Exit 113 eastbound, where I-82 meets Highway 395 south of Kennewick.

The obvious redundancy has also eluded state Department of Transportation officials since it was installed a year and a half ago.

The sign is supposed to say "To Interstate 182," to direct drivers who want to take Highway 395 north across the blue bridge and meet up with I-182 in Pasco, said Moe Davari, transportation department project engineer.

Instead, the sign says "To Interstate 82." A similar sign a mile to the west has the correct "To Interstate 182" information.

No one notified the transportation department about the sign until the Herald called recently, Davari said. And no one at the department noticed it either.

"I guess people see the first sign, and it's good enough for them," he said.

The transportation department will use a simple sticker to correct the error, Davari said, saving the expense of replacing the sign entirely.

The sign isn't considered a hazard to drivers, like a missing stop sign would be, so it's not seen as a priority, said transportatation department spokeswoman Summer Derrey.

Transportation department officials only know of two cases of a sign naming the wrong interstate in the last 12 years in the eight-county South Central District, Derrey said. The district is responsible for 20,000 signs.

"This is very rare," she said.

Other mistakes are somewhat more common, such as the number for an interstate appearing on a sign for a traditional U.S. highway. Derrey said that happens about once every four years.

A street or place name will be spelled incorrectly on a sign about every other year, Derrey said.

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543;; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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