The National Academies

NCHRP 17-10 [Completed]

Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Signals

  Project Data
Funds: $299,970
Research Agency: U. Alabama at Birmingham
Principal Investigator: Fouad H. Fouad
Effective Date: 2/1/1994
Completion Date: 12/1/1997

The product of this study is a recommended specification for the design of structural supports for highway signs. luminaires, and traffic signals.

Since the 1985 edition of the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Signals was published, significant changes have occurred in design philosophies, material choices, and manufacturing processes for highway sign, luminaires, and traffic signal supports. These specifications lack comprehensive criteria for all materials, and some support components are not adequately addressed. In addition, design criteria for oscillation, fatigue, and deflection need improvement. Because of these deficiencies, revised specifications were needed.

The objective of this research was to develop up-to-date, comprehensive specifications, and an accompanying commentary, for structural supports for highway signs, luminaires, and traffic signals. NCHRP Report 411, Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Signals, provides detailed information on the development of wind loading criteria by using new isotach maps, revised allowable bending stresses for steel, deflection limitations, the analysis of second order effects, fatigue and vibration provisions, anchor bolt requirements, span wire design philosophies and new sections on composites and wood support structures. The report clearly identifies proposed changes to the specifications and provides an assessment of the impact of the change. The recommended specification reflects state-of-the-art design philosophies and manufacturing processes and includes guidance for poles fabricated from steel, aluminum, prestressed concrete, timber, and fiber-reinforced plastic composites.

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