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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Maintenance of Signs and Sign Supports

fhwasa09025.pdf (2.49 MB)

January 2010

"Cover image - Maintenance of Drainage Features for Safety"

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its content or use thereof.
The contents of this report reflect the views of the author, who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Department of Transportation.
This report does not constitute a manual, handbook, standard, specification, or regulation.
The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Any trademarks or manufacturers' names that appear herein do so only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document.


Technical Documentation Page

1. Report No. FHWA


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Maintenance of Signs and Sign Supports: A Guide for Local Roads Maintenance Personnel

5. Report Date

January 2010

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Authors

Hugh W. McGee, P.E.

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

10. Work Unit No.

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
8300 Boone Boulevard, Suite 700
Vienna, VA 22182-2626

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Safety
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report


14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes:

The FHWA Office of Safety Contract Task Order Manager was Karen Timpone. The Technical Oversight Working Group included: Thomas Ballard, Eugene Calvert, Tim Colling, Mark Hood, William Lozier, Jon Oshel, Joe Marek, and Tom McDonald.

16. Abstract

Highway signs are the means by which the road agency communicates the rules, warnings, guidance and other highway information that drivers need to navigate their roads and streets. This guide, which is an update to the same titled guide published in 1990, is intended to help local agency maintenance workers ensure their agency's signs are maintained to meet the needs of the road user. The guide succinctly covers the following topics: a description of sign types, sign materials and sign supports; sign installation and the elements of a sign management system including inventory, inspection, preventive maintenance, repair and replacement, and recordkeeping.

17. Key Words

Signs, sign supports, maintenance, replacement, sign management.

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages:


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) - Reproduction of completed pages authorized



This guide was prepared by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) under FHWA Contract DTFH61-05-D-00024. Ms. Karen Timpone, Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety, was the Task Order Manager. The principal investigator and author was Dr. Hugh McGee, P.E. of VHB. Document preparation was performed by Ms. Michelle Scism of VHB.

A Technical Working Oversight Group was formed to guide the preparation of this document. The members included:

  • Thomas G. Ballard, P.E., TBA Consulting, Inc.
  • Eugene Calvert, P.E., PTOE, Collier County, FL.
  • Tim Colling, P.E., Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program.
  • Mark Hood, P.E., Pennoni Associates.
  • William Lozier, P.E., Licking County, OH.
  • Jon Oshel, P.E., Oregon Counties Association
  • Joe Marek, P.E., Clackamas County, OR.
  • Tom McDonald, P.E., Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program.

Their input and review were invaluable.