Scott County moves ahead with testing new county road signs

Thursday, October 15, 2009 ~ Updated 11:07 AM

BENTON, Mo. -- Scott County will try out some new signs on numbered county roads.

Joel Evans, emergency management director for the county, said Tuesday that the county road and bridge department would place orders later that day for up to four different sign types of "different shapes and sizes and a couple different mounting methods as a test to see how they weather and hold up."

The goal is "optimal visibility with minimal expenditure," Evans said. "We had been using 6-by-18-inch blue signs with 4-inch white reflective letters. We had had some concerns from emergency responders -- ambulance crews, specifically -- that they were hard to read."

He explained 8-inch high yellow lettering on a blue background is "kind of a national standard," for numbered county road signs.

Two of the test signs will be rectangular signs 11 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Two mountings will be tried with this type. One sign will be held at the bottom by a blade mount and the other will be held at the side by a flag mount.

With these two mounting methods, "we hope to be able to use one sign lettered on both sides which will drastically cut the cost of signage but still maintain the 8-inch letter size," Evans said.

Evans said Norman Brant, county highway department superintendent, is deciding on two other sign types to order for the test.

While officials had been considering using five-sided signs, "the sign blanks are fairly expensive for the pentagons -- about twice the price of the rectangle," Evans said.

Evans said the pentagonal signs also take two sign blanks -- one for each side of the mounting pole. "So really, it takes up to about four times the cost, which is cost prohibitive and will probably preclude us from using those," he said.

He added, however, that, "we are still just in the test phase, we haven't ruled out anything."

Evans said he doesn't know where the test signs will be located yet. "We have several that need to be replaced," he said. "The ice storm really devastated our signs."

Once officials decide which type of sign will be used, signs will be changed over "through attrition, on an as-needed basis," Evans said, by replacing damaged or missing signs with the new type.

Evans said whatever the design for numbered county road signs ends up being, numbers and letters will meet the new Federal Highway Administration reflectivity standards.

"We have several years before we have to meet that standard for informational signs but we want to be proactive and be working toward that goal," he said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: