The National Academies

NCHRP 10-38 [Completed]

Fatigue-Resistant Design of Cantilevered Signal, Sign, and Light Supports

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Research Agency: Lehigh University
Principal Investigator: Robert Dexter
Effective Date: 1/1/1993
Completion Date: 5/31/1996

The products of this study are recommended specifications and commentary, and design examples for the fatigue-resistant design of cantilevered signal, sign, and light supports.

Cantilevered signal, sign, and light supports are susceptible to fatigue cracking from numerous cycles of wind and other loads. Because these structures are often positioned over major roadways, there is widespread concern regarding their reliability. In rare cases, cantilevered sign supports have failed, crashing into the roadway and presenting a hazard to the traveling public.

The objective of this project was to develop rational design procedures and recommended specifications for cantilevered signal, sign, and light support structures that consider wind-induced cyclic stresses. The research included a comprehensive literature study, a survey of practice, aeroelastic and aerodynamic wind-tunnel tests, and an experimental fatigue-testing program. The findings of the study are documented in NCHRP Report 412, Fatigue-Resistant Design of Cantilevered Signal, Sign and Light Supports.

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