Dare how they? MassDOT apologizes for ‘Cod Cape’ sign in Dartmouth

Dartmouth Police

The green metal sign was supposed to direct drivers to Cape Cod. Instead it directed motorists toward a place unfamiliar to New Englanders and visitors alike: “Cod Cape.”

The mixup happened Nov. 15. A contractor was hired by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to make and install the highway sign along Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth. Highway employees in that district were tasked with double-checking signs for any errors before they went up.

But somehow no one caught the blunder in time. And for nearly a week, drivers cruising through the area were greeted by the notice telling them that the best way to “Cod Cape” was to take Interstate 195 East.


Officials from the transportation department confirmed it was their sign and apologized. The sign was promptly removed when they learned about the oversight on Monday.

“The Massachusetts Department of Transportation apologizes to motorists, visitors, and local residents for the posting of a state highway sign that included erroneous information,” Matthew Broderick, Highway Division District 5 acting director, said in a statement.

Police in Dartmouth had posted a picture of the sign to Facebook this week, along with a snide comment.

“What do you see wrong with this sign on Faunce Corner Road? Maybe if you drive in reverse, you will get there (NOT recommended),” police wrote.

The social media post has since been deleted — but not before it was shared online more than 100 times. Department officials did not return a request for comment.

Broderick said the state agency has had discussions with both the contractor, Liddell Brothers Inc., and the District 5 engineers whose job it was to vet the sign before it was displayed to the public. An internal review of what led to the bungle is underway.

“The district is in the process of reviewing all signage to ensure it is accurate and that this does not happen again,” Broderick said.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com.