Misspelled City Signs Could Cause Confusion in Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls officials and staff are finding their way around a frustrating problem with new signage around town.

John Burrus, director of aviation, traffic and transportation, said they are dealing with numerous wayfinding signs created by an outsourced company that are misspelled or the wrong name.

The Wichita Falls Times Record News reports the wayfinding signage project began in 2011, as part of the Pride in the Falls campaign.

The first phase of the project cost about $1 million and total price tag for the project was expected to be about $2.1 million.

About 221 signs were created in the first phase, plus new logos on city water towers.

Additional signs in the next phase labeled city landmarks, commonly visited locations and maps for pedestrians marking walkable destinations downtown.

Goals for the long-term project were to create a uniformly designed, recognizable network of signs for vehicles and pedestrian travelers.

Recently, residents have reported numerous mistakes in signs across town for parks, cemeteries, water treatment plants and even an airport.

One misspelled sign that has not been removed yet is for Loch Lomond Park on the southeast side of town.

An older wooden sign marking the park is spelled correctly, but another entrance to the park, on Loch Lomond Drive, is marked with the new city signs as "Loch Lomand Park."

Reportedly, a new sign was removed from Rosemont Cemetery misspelled the second word as "Cemetary."

Burrus said his staff is well-aware of the issues and said their contractor on the project, Geograph, made the mistakes.

"All sign wording was vetted multiple times before it was sent to them," he said.

In addition to the misspelled signs, Burrus reports Geograph created signs for the Wichita Falls Regional Airport that read "Municipal Airport."

Another example is the River Road water treatment plant was signed as the "Research" plant instead of "Recovery."

Due to these overwhelming errors, Burrus said the city is withholding the company's next payment of $73,000 until corrections and punch list items are resolved.

"It is 100 percent their cost to make it right," he said.

This is not the first time the city has experienced issues with Geograph.

Burrus said his staff is still working make corrections associates with the first phase of the project, which was completed more than two years ago.

While the city does have a sign-making shop, these specialized signs are too big for their capabilities.

Additionally, Burrus said, they cannot fabricate the decorative posts used for these signs.

Problems with the posts abound, as well.

Stress bolts and other hardware attaching the signs to the posts have failed causing some of the signs to fall off.

Burrus said the company is coming back to the city to address these hardware problems.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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