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Overpass Signs Banned

Those homemade signs, banners and American flags honoring soldiers must come down from highway overpasses in Massachusetts.

So says the state highway department, which is concerned that the patriotic displays could fall from their perches and cause a hazard to drivers.

Since September 11, 2001, the signs and flags have been placed on bridges to welcome soldiers home, or sometimes to remember fallen servicemen.

Ramon Jimenez says he doesn't understand why the signs have to be removed. He says a display overlooking Route 213 has brought him comfort as he awaits word on the fate of his son. Army specialist Alex Jimenez of Lawrence has been missing since his unit was ambushed in Iraq in May.

MassHighway spokesman Erik Abell says the state appreciates the patriotism but can't risk any danger to motorists.

As an alternative to the displays, the department is offering to put permanent "Welcome Home Troops'' signs at all highway rest stops.

This program aired on December 4, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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