EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 13, 2013

Wind-damaged Ranger Plaza sign comes down in Methuen

By Brian Messenger

---- — METHUEN — The towering Ranger Plaza sign along Interstate 93 has fallen victim to the Blizzard of 2013.

Heavy winds during the weekend contorted the 110-foot-tall sign on Pelham Street to the point that it appeared ready to come toppling down. A crane crew came in and removed it yesterday afternoon.

The sign is operated by MMK LLC, which owns the nearby Outback Steakhouse, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s, according to Methuen Community Development Director Bill Buckley.

“The plan is to take it down, do an analysis of what went wrong and provide the department with plans to repair and replace it as soon as possible,” Buckley said.

Methuen police first learned of the damaged sign Friday night from a man driving by the area.

“He saw the sign bent over,” said police Chief Joseph Solomon. “From I-93, it’s an incredible view. You drive on the highway and it just catches your eye.”

The sign is adjacent to I-93 North and located in the parking lot of Comfort Home Care. Solomon said the area of the parking lot surrounding the sign was cordoned off with security tape Friday night.

The chief said police received no other calls for major wind damage during the blizzard.

“It was kind of a surprise,” said Solomon. “The sign took such a big hit. It must have been just in the right place.”