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Poll

Which is better?

Wood
- 5 (45.5%)
Metal
- 6 (54.5%)

Total Members Voted: 11


Author Topic: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway  (Read 3051 times)

tolbs17

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Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« on: February 15, 2022, 03:25:36 PM »

When the new NC 11 bypass opened in November 2019, there is a lot of wooden post signs. I feel like they are not as durable compared to the metal ones. I prefer the metal posts. This is definitely different compared to the new highways I've seen open. Normally signs are all on metal posts

Ex: https://goo.gl/maps/gtpk2wGgRZJs74wu6

https://goo.gl/maps/X4eZdF3hpGT9X9mYA

https://goo.gl/maps/RJ3TrwDJLY38xQj38

These are metal however: https://goo.gl/maps/HuaffaxwXJ8VEHaL9
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2022, 03:30:12 PM »

Wooden posts never seemed to make much a difference in California.  Wood posts are so common out west that it isn’t even notable. 
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tolbs17

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2022, 03:39:29 PM »

Wooden posts never seemed to make much a difference in California.  Wood posts are so common out west that it isn’t even notable.
Ah. It seems like they use them on every sign.

https://goo.gl/maps/GDNDH8brdPKnFmnPA

https://goo.gl/maps/gnKSvfW4Ae2EqDW97

https://goo.gl/maps/zCKHLquvyDH2enJ36
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ran4sh

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2022, 03:48:01 PM »

Either type is supposed to be crashworthy. This is achieved either by being a breakaway post that gives way when hit by a car, or by having a barrier such as guardrail preventing cars from hitting the sign. Further reading https://www.trafficsign.us/signposts.html

At least in my area, the main use of wooden posts is with specific service/logo signs on freeways, most other signs use metal posts.
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Road Hog

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2022, 06:40:33 PM »

Wooden 4x4 posts were common in Missouri. Wooden backing on signs in Texas was common up until a few years ago because they kept getting clipped by mowers and the splintery evidence was plain to see.

I think Texas is plain sheet metal now on signs. TxDOT posts have been pipe for as long as I can remember, but I'm still a young pup.
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US 89

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2022, 06:42:00 PM »

Wooden posts (and signs themselves, for that matter) are generally a good first-order approximation of how old a sign is in Utah - I don't think there's much if any wooden sign infrastructure in Utah that is newer than about 15 years old.

Idaho and Wyoming also make extensive use of wooden posts and signs, but it seems Idaho might be starting to shift towards using more metal.

Scott5114

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2022, 06:44:47 PM »

Kansas uses a decent amount of wooden posts on smaller signs like route markers. Large freeway signage uses metal posts, however.

Oklahoma doesn't use wooden posts at all, to my knowledge.
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Road Hog

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2022, 06:54:02 PM »

Arkansas exclusively uses U-channel posts for most non-interstate signage. Until the early 1990s they added a bracing post for most signs. They also bolted signs with a standard 9/16" carriage bolt and nut. Don't ask me how I know that. I learned that from a friend. :)
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gonealookin

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2022, 06:56:53 PM »

We're all metal in Nevada.  Years ago I posted a photo of an oddball wood post installation and it immediately drew comment.



That sign was replaced with the permanent metal post one when they got around to installing the flashing lights.
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thenetwork

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2022, 07:32:27 PM »

I don't see any big difference wood or metal posts for side-mounted BGSs, since they usually are now getting replaced every 10-15 years when they they lose their reflectivity.  For metal post replacements, many states replace the posts along with the signs.
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Big John

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2022, 07:39:41 PM »

Wisconsin uses wood posts on many signs.
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BlueOutback7

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2022, 07:43:04 PM »

They have wooden posts in Maine as well.
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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2022, 09:34:50 PM »

Wooden posts (and signs themselves, for that matter) are generally a good first-order approximation of how old a sign is in Utah - I don't think there's much if any wooden sign infrastructure in Utah that is newer than about 15 years old.

Idaho and Wyoming also make extensive use of wooden posts and signs, but it seems Idaho might be starting to shift towards using more metal.
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LilianaUwU

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2022, 09:47:34 PM »

Québec never ever uses wooden posts except maybe for temporary BGS supports. On the other hand, New Brunswick seems to love using wooden posts on anything but BGS.
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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2022, 11:00:39 PM »

Wooden posts (and signs themselves, for that matter) are generally a good first-order approximation of how old a sign is in Utah - I don't think there's much if any wooden sign infrastructure in Utah that is newer than about 15 years old.

Idaho and Wyoming also make extensive use of wooden posts and signs, but it seems Idaho might be starting to shift towards using more metal.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is post number 1,000,000!!!

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2022, 11:41:48 PM »

Wooden posts (and signs themselves, for that matter) are generally a good first-order approximation of how old a sign is in Utah - I don't think there's much if any wooden sign infrastructure in Utah that is newer than about 15 years old.

Idaho and Wyoming also make extensive use of wooden posts and signs, but it seems Idaho might be starting to shift towards using more metal.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is post number 1,000,000!!!

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GaryV

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2022, 06:58:00 AM »

Wooden posts (and signs themselves, for that matter) are generally a good first-order approximation of how old a sign is in Utah - I don't think there's much if any wooden sign infrastructure in Utah that is newer than about 15 years old.

Idaho and Wyoming also make extensive use of wooden posts and signs, but it seems Idaho might be starting to shift towards using more metal.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is post number 1,000,000!!!

Do I win something?  :D

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roadfro

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2022, 11:09:30 AM »

We're all metal in Nevada.  Years ago I posted a photo of an oddball wood post installation and it immediately drew comment.



That sign was replaced with the permanent metal post one when they got around to installing the flashing lights.

Came to this thread to comment on Nevada, but you beat me to it. Aside from temporary/construction signage, wood posts are not a regular thing in Nevada.

As an aside, some of those old wind warning signs in the Washoe Valley area always kinda confused me: "when prohibited, trucks are prohibited". How were you supposed to know that a prohibition was in effect? From certain vantage points (like the Eastlake Blvd onramp depicted), there are no warning lights or VMS displays to warn of the prohibition. Glad they installed beacons and changed the sign.
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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2022, 11:28:37 AM »

...
CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is post number 1,000,000!!!

Darn, can't believe I missed it! Knew we were getting close but it snuck up on me.

The forum now officially has more posts than WY, VT, AK, SD, and ND have people. Probably Delaware too, although it's actually pretty plausible that Delaware could have hit 1 million at around the same time this was posted.  :biggrin:
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andrepoiy

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2022, 12:00:00 PM »

Ontario also uses wooden for a fair number of signs, although I don't think I have seen a pattern. However, if the sign doesn't go directly into the ground (for example if it's mounted on a jersey barrier), it's metal.
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Bitmapped

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2022, 11:52:26 AM »

WVDOH is all steel for its sign supports. It also has a tendency to use break-away I-beams for a lot of signs that would be regular U-channel in other places.

PennDOT likes to use wood posts for non-BGS signage along freeways and other controlled-access highways. If it's big enough to get an extruded panel sign, it's on steel I-beams. PennDOT also uses regular U-channel and Telespar along surface roads.

Ohio's ODOT is all about U-channel and Telespar for signage. There were some examples of BGS mounted on large wood posts, but those were few and far between.

MDSHA uses wood posts for a substantial amount of non-BGS signage on both freeways and surface roads. They use Telespar posts, too, and I've not noticed any particular pattern for what gets what. Maybe knock-downs get Telespar for quick replacement and larger signage projects get wood posts?

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Bruce

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2022, 10:09:55 PM »

WSDOT uses a fairly even mix, especially in areas where signage is expected to change periodically. Our climate isn't too harsh on wood, though the posts can show signs of rot after a while.
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US71

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Re: Wooden vs Metal posts on a Highway
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2022, 08:49:49 PM »

MODOT used to use primarily wood posts, but have been slowly switching to metal.

ARDOT uses primarily metal.
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