In a town filled with random, seldom-observed signs — “No Right Turn”; “Speed Limit 25 MPH”; “”1 Hour Parking, Violators Will Be Towed” — it takes a lot to stand out.

This one did.

Spotted by alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti on South Compo Road, near the railroad underpass headed toward town, it raised a host of questions.

3.454 meters is not 11’8″, JP notes. It’s just under 11’4.” So that’s not what it means.

It make take 3.454 seconds to go from the sign to the bridge, but JP figures that’s not it either.

Perhaps it’s left over from a recent road race — or jUNe Day?

If you know what this random — yet very precise — sign means, click “Comments” below.

31 responses to “3.454M

  1. Cheryl McKenna

    Could it be meters to the bridge underpass ?

  2. Eleven feet away? Probably not.

  3. Nancy Hunter

    Why quibble over a four inch difference, unless you have bikes strapped to your car rooftop!

  4. “Meters” could explain why I remember all those trucks getting stuck under it.

  5. Nancy Hunter

    How about 5.559 kilometers to somewhere?

  6. Jeff Giannone

    3.54 miles of “shared roadway”?

  7. Bob Stalling

    I’m pretty sure 3.454M means the land there by Narrow Rocks Rd is actually in the jurisdiction of the State of Michigan..

    Here’s what I found with a quick Google search of 3.454…


    Section 3.454

    Act 168 of 1967

    3.454 Pictured Rocks national lakeshore; concurrent jurisdiction.
    Sec. 4.

    “The jurisdiction of the lands and water area described in section 1 is ceded to the United States of America upon the express condition that the state of Michigan shall retain concurrent jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, over persons on the lands and water area.”

    So obviously, if you hit the bridge with your truck, you will be fined by the state of Michigan….

  8. I Googled it and it circled back to 06880 -LOL

  9. Nancy Hunter

    Now it seems clear: the railroad is the top of Westport.

  10. Robert Mitchell

    Does this mean that the underpass is actually
    an entrance to the Chunnel?

  11. Michael Calise

    It’s a sign put out by the Westport Pizzeria Fan Club. 3.45 miles to Westport Pizzeria. They are all over town

  12. Mary Cookman Schmerker '58

    My guess, and it is a guess….. Mike is right. In my book Mike knows best where Westport is concerned.

  13. Peter Flatow

    Doug I finally had to try and save us from further embarrassment so I have written to Steve Edwards for the answer. I only hope that he has something better than my fellow readers.

  14. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    All I know is that when I was a kid and walking to Saugatuck Elementary from Narrow Rocks Road, I would run as fast as I could under the bridge because it was scary if I was walking under the bridge when a train went by overhead. So noisy and everything shook!

  15. Nancy Hunter

    By the way, was that Main/Weston/Easton intersection debacle last year corrected?

  16. Susan Reilly

    I think it may mean it’s that far to the actual bridge which is 11’8″” high.

  17. An actual tunnel to…Michigan? !

  18. Nancy Hunter

    Face it. The metric system is a pill… then again, a joy for the marathon runner.

  19. Original clearance was 11′-4”. The pavement under the bridge was milled 4″ to provide 11′-8″ clearance.

    • Michael Calise

      So there is the answer. 3.454 meters equals 11.33 feet (11′ 4″)
      therefore the meter measurement pre-dates the milling. Good research Dan

      • This metric sign must be from the 1970’s. I don’t understand why they thought it necessary to take it out to 3 decimal places. 3.45 meters would have been sufficient.

  20. Peter Flatow

    Dan, as usual alert 06880 readers were partially right. Here is the “official” answer from Steve Edwards at Public Works: “Actually we have four such signs on our low underpasses that were installed under the Farrell administration. The signs were given to us by the DOT under a metric conversion initiative and we never bothered to check the conversion. Good catch by an astute resident. Since the initiative failed miserably, all the metric signs will be removed.” Thanks Steve