What to Know Before Installing Road Signs
If you manage a commercial, residential, or municipal property with roadways, you know the importance of road signs in directing traffic and preventing accidents. However, before installing road signs or contracting someone to do so, there are several important things to keep in mind.
The FHA (Federal Highway Administration) and FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) enforce several requirements for road signs, including design, height, post type, and even the level of reflectivity. Here, we break down the various types of road signs, installation requirements, and how they can be properly maintained.
Types of Road Signs
Regulatory signs communicate the rules of the road, including STOP, YIELD, ONE WAY, and DO NOT ENTER signs.
Warning signs give drivers advance notice of potentially hazardous situations or conditions of the road ahead. These are particularly useful for motorists who are unfamiliar with the road, as they warn about upcoming traffic lights and road curves.
Guide signs help drivers get to a particular destination. These types of signs include signs denoting a hospital, library, or a street name.
Signs in work zones
Anytime there is construction, road work, or maintenance being done on a road or roadside, temporary warning signs are necessary. These signs help warn drivers to take a detour or proceed with caution through the zone, as parts of the road may be obstructed or in disrepair.
Road Sign Placement
There are several things to keep in mind when installing road signs. Positioning the sign will depend largely on the sign’s purpose, surrounding landscape, and other factors that affect its visibility from the road. FHA requires that signs are positioned longitudinally along the road, laterally from the edge of the road, and vertically above the ground. The placement of the sign may also overlap with underground cables and conduits, so it’s crucial that the contractor checks with the utility company before breaking ground.
Road Sign Supports
Road sign supports are vertical posts that prop of the road sign to make it visible. They are typically either made of wood or steel. These posts can be extremely dangerous if hit by a vehicle, and so FHA requires that all roadside sign supports are able to yield or break away upon impact.
Road Sign Color and Reflectivity
It’s crucial for road signs to be reflective and show clear color contrast, so that they may be visible during the day and night. Road signs consist of film material called sheeting, which is comprised of glass beads or microprisms to be reflective at night.
Exposure to the sun and inclement weather will cause colors and retro-reflective qualities of traffic signs to fade over time. The Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) includes a requirement for minimum maintained retro-reflectivity levels for most traffic signs. It’s recommended that retro-reflectivity is checked on a regular basis, in order to remain compliant with MUTCD requirements.
Road Sign Installation
Because of the complexity of the installation and maintenance requirements for road signs in Miami, we recommend that municipalities and privately owned properties enlist a professional contractor for their traffic sign installation. Southern Asphalt Engineering has over 15 years of experience in road sign installation in Miami-Dade and Broward County, and is well-versed in the intricacies of traffic control requirements. To learn more about our road sign installation services, request a free estimate today!