Route 50: From OC to Cali - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Route 50: From OC to California

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 2:04 PM Updated:

OCEAN CITY, Md.- If you're leaving Ocean City, Maryland over the Route 50 bridge heading west, there's a chance you might have noticed a sign that reads the distance to Sacramento, California. But, why is that sign even in Ocean City?

An explanation comes from Gene Cofiell, who worked for the State Highway Administration for years, alongside his friend Donnie Drewer.

More than four decades ago Cofiell had an idea.

"Lets put up a sign for Sacramento, which is where Route 50 ends, in California," he said.

The sign was put up in 1974 at the intersection of Golf Course Road and Route 50. Cofiell said the sign quickly got a lot of attention - including some that was unwanted.

"It then became a collector's item-  people started stealing it," he said. " It was a ground-cemented sign on a four by four post."

Ten years later SHA moved the sign to the Route 50 bridge, where it's been ever since.

"It became more visible and also, people began to look and notice it more," Drewer said.

After that Cofiell told WBOC that he wanted to see an Ocean City, Maryland sign put up in Sacramento.

"Then I floated the idea out to the people in California, my counterparts in California, and they didn't want to do anything out there so they just didn't do it," Cofiell said.

But, Cofiell eventually came to learn that Sacramento actually did put up a sign that read the distance to Ocean City, Maryland.

According to a Sacramento news station, the sign was put up by a man named Jack Cropper back in 1995.

Cofiell said that if they did put up a sign, he felt obligated to make the more then 3,000-mile drive across the U.S. - and he did.

"Got to California, took my picture and came back home," Cofiell said.

The sign that was put up on a whim more than 40 years ago still gets the attention of people leaving the town of Ocean City.

"Well, you know I was curious to know how far it was to the Pacific Ocean and I was sure everybody else was," Drewer said.

 

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