EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

December 12, 2011

Town names misspelled on road signs

HAVERHILL — The owner of one business in Monument Square says he never noticed it, even though it's right outside his window.

Two state road signs that are across from New York Cleaners, located at 254 Main St., direct drivers north to Plaistow on Route 125, and east to Merrimac, on Route 110. The problem is, the names of the towns are misspelled.

They happen to point north to "Plastow" and east to "Merrimack," as well as east to Amesbury, which became a city in 1996 but still refers to itself as a town.

"It's funny that I never noticed it before," said Chang Sik Kim, who has a clear view of the signs from the front window of his dry cleaning business.

The signs are in front of the CVS, and are positioned in a way they are best seen by drivers coming up White Street to where it meets Main Street, or Route 125. State highway officials believe the signs were recently installed and that spelling errors were made during their manufacture.

This busy Monument Square area has multiple signs directing drivers south, north and east, including five signs that correctly spell Plaistow and Merrimac. But somehow the signs that are in front of the CVS ended up with incorrect spellings.

Merrimac Town Clerk Patricia "Pat" True said she's driven through Monument Square in Haverhill many times without noticing her town's name was misspelled.

She said there have been many instances where people have confused Merrimac for Merrimack, N.H.

"People who drive down (Interstate) 495 have gotten off the highway and have come into town hall looking for the brewery" in New Hampshire's Merrimack, she said. "They see Merrimac and think they're in New Hampshire. So we point them in the right direction."

People have come to the town of Merrimac in search of Merrimack College as well, True said.

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