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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


To achieve the desired goal of quality sign maintenance, a comprehensive sign management system should be developed and followed. The elements of a sign management system include:

  • Inventory — a manual or computer-based database of signs installed on your roads.
  • Inspection — a program for scheduled inspection of signs.
  • Preventive Maintenance — activities that will ensure that signs will attain their full service life.
  • Repair and Replacement — a program and process for either repairing or replacing non-functional signs.
  • Reporting and Record Keeping — a process for keeping record of all maintenance activities.

When these elements are in place and followed, the agency can be assured that the signs on their roads are functional and meet the needs of the road users.

Each of these elements will be discussed separately in the following chapters.