Orange barrels on a highway

Sign Retroreflectivity


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MUTCD Update:

On May 14, 2012 the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published two final rules to make things easier for local and state agencies. These rules resulted in two revisions to the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) . Revision 1 refers to the use of engineering judgment and studies. Revision 2 refers to compliance dates including:

  • Compliance date for implementation and continued use of an assessment or management method was changed to June, 2014, and now applies only to regulatory and warning signs.
  • Compliance dates for replacement of signs to meet minimum retroreflectivity were eliminated.


For more information see the Minnesota state aid Recent Revisions to Federal MUTCD Compliance Dates page

Traffic Sign Expected Life Project

The Minnesota Local Road Research Board is funding a project to develop new expected sign life values. This will enable local agencies to better manage their traffic sign assets and decrease their costs by enabling more efficient sign replacement strategies. 


Project Goals


Project Schedule

Task 1: Survey of Practice   April 30, 2013
Task 2: Test Deck & Data Collection Plan  June 30, 2013
Task 3: MnROAD Data Collection September 30, 2013  (plus ongoing annual measurements)
Task 4: System Data Collection  December 30, 2013
Task 5: Data Analysis, Recommendations, Report March 30, 2014


Project Updates

TAP Meeting - February 2013

Tap Meeting - May 2013



Preliminary 2013 Retroreflectivity Data

Minnesota State Aid Traffic Safety Page

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Minnesota's Best Practices for Traffic Sign Maintenance/Management Handbook

NCHRP Synthesis 431: Practices to Manage Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity

Pennsylvania LTAP Sign Inventory Management System

Utah LTAP Safety Suite including Sign Inventory


Resources for Project Participants

Proposed Retroreflectometer Loan-out Schedule

Example Retro Data Collection Worksheet



MnDOT Sign Test Deck

MnROAD Sign Retro Test Deck As-Built Plan

Test Deck Pictures - 1|2|3|4|5|6|7

Salvage Panels (as of 2013)

Test Deck Panels Retroreflectivity Data