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A reader wonders if the water project on Range Avenue in Santa Rosa will include a spelling improvement too. Road Warrior photo

It’s a fear that sign makers — and journalists — live with: Misspellings.

A Road Warrior reader alerted us to this sign at Range and Russell avenues in Santa Rosa and an identical one just down the street at Range and Piner Road with the misspelling of improvement.

The reader  jokingly wondered if the project might lead to a spelling improvement too.

The two signs are all that’s left of the water project, which involved installing a 12-inch water line from about Russell Avenue to Piner Road. It was completed the week before Thanksgiving at a cost of $257,000.

Fred Browne, an associate civil engineer for the city, said he was surprised the misspelling got through the city’s sign shop.

“”I can’t see how they could have misspelled improvement” because the shop makes many signs with the word “improvement” on them, he said.

Browne said he also thought someone working on the project would have noticed the misspelling.

He said he hasn’t come across misspelled city signs before but he’s quite familiar with the problem of misspelling: People often leave the “e” off his last name.

Steve Kroeck, the city’s deputy director of field services, said the city makes “very few errors” on signs, especially considering the large number it makes each year. In fact, he said, he can’t remember another such mistake in his 25 years with the city. He said there are about 27,000 city-maintained signs in Santa Rosa.

“But as you pointed out, there’s always room for improvement,” he said with a chuckle.

A couple of years ago, Caltrans replaced a Highway 101 sign announcing the exit for “Steel Lane” instead of Steele Lane. And last February it fixed a 101 sign announcing “Ronhert Park.”

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