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Elements of Effective Sign Maintenance

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Presentation on theme: "Elements of Effective Sign Maintenance"— Presentation transcript:

1 Elements of Effective Sign Maintenance
Rick Butner Pierce County Public Works & Utilities

2 Pierce County Sign Inventory
(~1,500 centerline miles of roads) 25,825 traffic signs 2,938 STOP & YIELD signs 6,745 warning (W-series) signs 3,160 Speed Limit signs 8,512 street name signs (33%)

3 Pierce County sign & markings staff
1 - Traffic Operations Supervisor 2 – Office Support Staff 1 - Sign & Markings Supervisor 1 - Seasonal Lead Sign Technician 12 - Traffic Sign Technicians 8 - Seasonal Temporary Employees

4 Sign Inventory how important is it?
A sign inventory is an important element of your sign inspection program. A sign inventory can be anything from a card file to an inventory software program.

5 Pierce County Sign Inventory
Home Grown Software Program – “Rubble” System Divided into Area’s and Sub Areas Sign Work is Documented by Function Code Ability To Track Work and Signs Track work completed by function Track signs by age and location Document time for reports

6 Serial Numbers tracking sign age
Having the ability to search a group of signs and then break them down by age was key to putting our pilot program together and an important part of the sampling plan used by engineering to come up with our control samples. In this example we have used the first 2 numbers of the serial number for the year. Looking back I think that I would have used After the millennium we began using 2000, 2001… so now the first two numbers are 20. Throws the search off but still works OK.

7 Serial Number Tagging

8 Street Name Signs embedded serial numbers
Since we fabricate our street name signs and use ec film we have the ability to install a small serial number under the film and make it part of the sign. I’ve got a sample of this process that I’ll pass around if your not familiar with the process. This has worked well so far and hasn’t added any additional time to our fabrication cost. This is a small sticker made on a simple label maker once it is installed under the ec film it becomes a permanent part of the sign. It is easily identifiable to a sign technician but most people would never notice it. We’re really looking forward to the next few years of data to see where this program will take us.

9 Sign Inspection Route Listed by Route and Position Number

10 Sign Inspection route map

11 Pierce County regular sign inspection
Quarterly Full Sign Inspection Includes stop and yield inspection Monthly Stop and Yield Inspection 8 additional monthly inspections Our data shows that regular sign inspection reduces sign call outs

12 Inspection Intervals your geographical area ?
Vandalism Gun Shot Graffiti Stolen Natural Causes Vegetation Dirty Environment

13 Sign Inventory accurate dispatch

14 Sign Maintenance Vehicles

15 Office of a Sign Technician

16 The Right Tools For the Job

17 The Right Hardware securely organized & in place

18 Sign Storage

19 Careful Storage of Signs

20 Standard Sign Inventory

21 Keeping Sign Posts in Place

22 After Hours Response Stop & Yield


24 After Hours Response proper equipment

25 Emergency Preparedness

26 Vegetation Control

27 Vegetation Control the right tools for the job
Loppers & Shears Pole Pruner

28 Load Management Load Storage Load Cover

29 Vandalism response & repair

30 Cleaning Signs the right tools for the job

31 Sign Retroreflectivity MUTCD requirements
Final Rule – published Dec 21, 2007 Effective January 22, 2008 4 years to establish/implement assessment management method 7 years to replace ground-mount signs 10 years to replace overhead signs On July 30, 2004, a Notice of Proposed Amendment to the MUTCD was published in the Federal Register. It is proposed as Revision 2, and is referred to as “Maintaining Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity.” The final rule was published December 21, 2007, and became effective as of January 22nd This ruling gives us 4 years to implement an assessment management method. Waiting to long to implement a system can reduce your time to correct problems found in your system.

32 Sign Retroreflectivity – MUTCD “shall” statement (standard):
“Public agencies or officials having jurisdiction shall use an assessment or management method that is designed to maintain traffic sign retroreflectivity at or above the minimum levels in Table 2A-3.” The new shall statement refers to using methods of assessment or management to maintain the sign retroreflectivity at or above the minimum levels. We were hoping that the table did not make it into the MUTCD, it seems that Attorneys love numbers.

33 Sign Retroreflectivity – MUTCD guidance:
“One or more of the following assessment or management methods should be used to maintain traffic sign retroreflectivity.” Our guidance is to use one or more of the assessment or management methods, to ensure that we are meeting the minimum levels in the new standard.

34 Assessment/Management Methods a required element
Visual Nighttime Inspection Measured Retroreflectivity Expected Life Blanket Replacement Control Signs Other Supported Methods There are five methods listed. Visual nighttime inspections Measured retroreflectivity Expected Life Blanket replacement Control signs I’ll spend a few minutes briefly describing each of these methods. First up is using visual inspections at night.

35 Which Method to Use? Control signs /Measured retroreflectivity, Works for Us

36 Retroreflectivity data and calculations
Serial # # Sequence Result / Date 1 March 6, 2007 White Average 310 Red Average 41 Serial # # Sequence Result / Date 1 March 6, 2007 W 000001/1 316 000001/2 300 000001/3 313 R 000001/4 41 000001/5 000001/6 40 RATIO 7.6 White Average 310 Red Average Our results are compressed but can be expanded to show the big picture. What stands out to me on the expanded view of readings is the consistency of the red readings, that’s where we’re looking for wear. We’ve also set up the fields to change color when readings are getting close to or below the minimum levels. With this type of report it doesn’t take long to see how your system is doing. We found very quickly that this was the right method for Pierce County, having a good inventory system in place really made this work and as always, support from above.

37 Retroreflectivity Program tracking the results
Type III Stop Sign – installed 1995

38 Asset Management getting the most of your dollars
Cost to Replace = $ 165,000.


40 Uniformity & Consistency
Standards Inventory Maintenance Trucks Inspection After Hours Response


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