Q: The Times received a call Friday morning concerning signage on the bypass (Hwy 1) near the intersection with University Parkway that directed motorists to “Natchitoches State University” rather than Northwestern State University. Since then, several others have called or reached out to us for answers. We reached out to DOTD to find out what happened and what was going to be done to correct the situation.
A: La. DOTD public information officer Erin Buchanan said Monday, “This was an unfortunate oversight by DOTD personnel when we updated some signs throughout the District. It is being taken down and a new sign is currently being fabricated and will be installed as soon as it is complete, which will be in the next few days.” The Times asked Buchanan the cost of the mistake and if the current sign could be recycled. “These signs are provided free of charge to the Districts as part of the overall operating budget of the Traffic Section in Baton Rouge. That is where the signs were fabricated. The cost of these two signs was $308.48. The white lettering can be removed without damaging the green sheeting so the signs can be re-purposed. When the District Traffic Engineer sees or is notified of signs that have become weathered or damaged, a request will be put in for replacement,” she said.
In a nutshell, it was a simple human error that was not realized until the signs were placed. As Buchanan stated, a corrected version is being made and will be placed in a few days. Thanks to the caller and others who brought this to the attention to the Times and allowed us to find the answers.