The purpose of this research project was to develop an alternative for replacing small roadside sign posts in augured dirt holes and still allow for rapid replacement after a knockdown. The end result is a concrete footing with reusable wedges which allows for replacement times of less than 10 minutes. The problem is that presently the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) crews must install and replace small wooden roadside sign posts where exposure to traffic is of particular concern. Anything that can be done to reduce the time needed to remove and replace a downed sign post will decrease the risks for Caltrans crews as well as the motoring public.
These locations include tight curves, narrow shoulders, medians and gore areas. Signs that are frequently downed and are hazardous to replace include: EXIT, DO NOT ENTER, MERGE, CURVE, and STOP signs. Further, for a typical sign post replacement, it takes approximately 45 minutes for a two person crew to remove the broken stub, auger a new hole, and compact the fill. During this time, the sign post crew and their equipment are exposed to hazardous conditions. In addition, their presence on the highway can create an unsafe condition by presenting new and unusual circumstances to motorists, some of which might be impaired, or simply inattentive.
Portions of this website describe; the problem with the current method of sign placement, the proposed alternative, prototype develop and testing, design changes, construction techniques and problems, dynamic testing of the final design, installation instructions and replacement procedures.