Jacobs Engineering pays Boston for street sign screw-up
Mike Beaudet, reporter Kevin Rothstein, producer
(MyFoxBoston.com) -- The city of Boston is getting its money back from a prominent engineering firm whose work led to wrong-way road signs being installed all over the city, an embarrassing snafu that was fixed only after a FOX Undercover investigation.
City officials demanded a refund from Jacobs Engineering, saying the plan that the firm came up with for street sign installation was rife with errors. In response, Jacobs Engineering cut a check to the city for more than $13,000, the amount of money the city paid for the faulty plan and the cost to fix all the problem signs that resulted.
It was a problem first exposed by FOX Undercover in February: signs pointing drivers in the wrong direction all over the city.
On Forsyth Street, signs for Route 9 East and West pointed in the same direction.
On Columbus Avenue was a sign for Route 28 East. Problem was, Route 28 only runs north and south. There was even a correct Route 28 North sign on the other side of the intersection.
The biggest bunch of mistakes were found up and down Massachusetts Avenue, where cross streets were marked with signs for Route 2A East that pointed west and signs for Route 2A West that pointed east.
The arrows were fixed at first, but then nearly 100 of those signs had to be taken down because it turns out it wasn't even Route 2A at all.
FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet interviewed Jim Gillooly, Boston’s interim Transportation Commissioner, about the mix up.
“It was bad enough when the road signs were pointing in the wrong direction, it turns out this isn't even Route 2A?” Beaudet asked.
“That's correct. This is Murphy's Law coming into play. One error compounded by another error,” Gillooly replied.
“How does that happen?” Beaudet asked.
“Well somebody missed the boat,” Gillooly replied.
“It's stories like this that make people think government can't get anything right,” Beaudet said.
“Well that's unfortunate. We do an awful lot that's good. We do an awful lot that doesn't fall into this category of, ‘Whoops, look what happened here,’” Gillooly said.
Jacobs Engineering has not responded to any request for comment since the topic aired, including a request about the reimbursement check.
Jacobs Engineering does a fair amount of work with the city, and a lot of work with the state -- $13 million in work with Massachusetts for last fiscal year and so far this fiscal year.