Exit sign on 710 Freeway misspells Olympic Boulevard as ‘Olimpic’

Caltrans misspelled Olympic Boulevard as "Olimpic" on an exit sign on the northbound 710 Freeway. It was later covered with a tarp and finally removed.
(Shelby Grad / Los Angeles Times)

Even in this era of automatic spell check, we all still make typos. But rarely are they as big as what appeared this month on the northbound 710 Freeway.

On Nov. 6, a subcontractor installed a new sign for the Olympic Boulevard exit. It read “Olimpic.”

A construction crew with the California Department of Transportation spotted the mistake the next morning, but it was too late.


The misspelling was hard to miss, and drivers had already snapped and tweeted photographs of the sign.

Days later, a black tarp was thrown over the sign in an attempt to cover the misspelling.

The sign was one of many improvements underway on the 710 Freeway as part of a pavement rehabilitation project.

The $120-million project, reaching from the Los Angeles River Bridge to the 10 Freeway, includes median barrier upgrades, shoulder widening and the installation of fiber optics and precast concrete panels and slabs.

Sign errors happen from time to time, and they often get noticed and mocked.

Caltrans spokeswoman Kelly Markham said the subcontractor will pay for a new sign.

“I want to emphasize that all costs associated with the removal, replacement and installation of the Olympic Boulevard sign will be paid by the subcontractor who fabricated the sign, not taxpayers or the state,” she said.

Longtime Times columnist Steve Harvey, in his “Only in L.A.” column, used to keep track of typo street signs. Some favorites from his “City Street Sign Hall of Fame”:

• 111st Street

• Bevery Glen Boulevard

• Castle Hegihts Avenue

Harvey also reported on a street in San Clemente that city officials insisted was not a typo but was changed nonetheless. Residents didn’t like “Camino Cahones.” Officials said the name referred to a “wave” or “breaker.” But it was also very similar to the Spanish slang word for testicles, and the post office sometimes misspelled it as “Cahones.”

Camino Cahones was rechristened Calle Vida.