Questions about traffic signing design or operation on MnDOT projects can be sent to email@example.com or 651-234-7371.
- Heather Lott
Traffic Engineering Sites
- Is my business or facility eligible to receive guide signing?
- What types of business signing does MnDOT allow on state highways?
- Who do I contact to see if my business qualifies for a sign?
- What happens after I submit my request for signing (including costs)?
- What if my request for signing is not approved?
- How do I get my business logo placed on the blue freeway signs?
Non-business signing questions
- How do I go about getting a STOP sign installed at an intersection?
- I would like to have a deer crossing sign installed. How do I go about getting this accomplished?
- I would like to have a "deaf child/blind child/slow children at play" sign installed on my street/highway near my home. How do I get this accomplished?
- How do I go about having a bridge or highway section dedicated to a group (i.e. Vietnam Veterans Bridge or Highway)?
- How do I obtain a sign to use as a graphic display for a workshop/training class?
Signing specifications questions
- Why are some cities included on the large green guide signs at interstate highway intersections?
- What is the purpose of the numbers on signs every mile along state highways?
- How are EXIT Numbers determined?
- What manuals, standards, sample plans, specificiations are available for review and guidance for roadway signing?
- What is the legal height for vehicles on highways and when does MnDOT install clearance signs?
- What is the proper mounting height for Disabled Parking signs?
- What does the 6% mean on a hill sign?
- Does MnDOT use plywood or plastic for its signs?
- What type of sheeting materials does MnDOT use for its signs?
Business signing answers
In order for a facility or business to receive supplemental guide signing, the sign location must meet engineering standards and the facility or business must meet MnDOT policy. View/print summary of the various supplemental guide signing programs (PDF).
To request signing for a facility on the state highway system, contact the appropriate District Traffic Engineer for your area.
In your request, please state the name and type of your business or facility, as well as its location.
District staff will work with you to determine whether your facility qualifies for signs on the trunk highway. This decision takes into account the type of facility and whether it meets the requirements of MnDOT’s various signing programs. Additionally, a field check is performed to determine whether there is available space for the sign(s) along the trunk highway as well as at exit ramps or near the closest intersection.
If signing is approved for your facility, the MnDOT District Traffic Office will contact you with an application form as well as the estimated cost of the sign(s). This cost includes the fabrication of the sign panel, structural materials, equipment, and installation labor costs. This is a one-time fee that lasts for the life of the sign.
After the completed application and payment are received by MnDOT, it may take 1- 3 months to have signs installed depending on weather.
MnDOT retains the authority to deny requests for signing where acceptable standards cannot be met, including locations where other supplemental guide signs are already in place. Requests denied based on Minnesota statutes or engineering standards (i.e. insufficient space and design standards) may not be appealed. At the discretion of the District Traffic Engineer, signing requests denied based on MnDOT policy may be appealed to the External Sign Variance Committee (ESVC).
For more information regarding making an appeal to the ESVC, contact Joani Nilan at 651-234-7384.
This is the Logo Sign Program, which operates separately from other state signing programs. Logo signs provide road users with business identification and directional information for services and for eligible attractions. FHWA limits the eligible service categories to include gas, food, lodging, 24-hour pharmacies, camping, and attractions.
Read more about Minnesota’s Logo Signing Program.
To request logo signing, contact Dave DeSutter, General Manager of Minnesota Logos, Inc. or go to http://www.minnesota.interstatelogos.com/state/home.aspx.
Non-business signing answers
If the local road intersects a state highway, a field evaluation and engineering study needs to be conducted by MnDOT; refer to the State Traffic Engineer's Directory and contact the appropriate district traffic office to initiate this process. If a local road intersects with another local road, contact the local road authority (i.e. City of Minneapolis or Hennepin County, etc).
Data has shown that installing static deer warning signs has not been effective in reducing deer-vehicle crashes. As such, MnDOT policy is to no longer install static deer crossing signs. Existing signs are being removed after they reach the end of their useful lives.
- View a summary of MnDOT’s position regarding deer crossing signs and supporting research (PDF, 44 KB).
MnDOT does not install this type of sign on state highways since it is not enforceable (it is a warning sign) and it can lead to a false sense of security. If you are requesting signing on a local road, contact the local road authority.
MnDOT does not memorialize highways. Memorialization of highways is done by an act of the Minnesota Legislature. If the legislature has memorialized a highway, MnDOT typically installs signs at specified location near the beginning of the route. On interstate routes, signs are placed in rest areas. Signs must meet the requirements of the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. This document defines the size, color, shape, location, and allowable message on signs. This document is defined in both federal and state law and governs all traffic control devices on a roadway. If a route is memorialized the organization or individuals requesting the designation pay for the design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of the signs.
If the bridge or highway section is not on a state highway, contact the local road authority.
MnDOT does not fabricate signs to sell to the public. To find out sign costs and have a sign fabricated contact:
Earl F. Andersen at 952-884-7300
Gopher Sign at 651-698-5095
Lyle Signs at 952-934-7653
M&R Sign at 218-736-5681
Signing specifications answers
There is a national publication by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that lists what are referred to as control cities. Control cities are “cities which have been determined by each state to be major destinations and population centers located on or near the Interstate Highway System.”
These cities are listed sequentially on guide signs along the Interstate, and remain on successive signs until that destination is reached.
These are called reference location signs. They are installed every mile on all state highways. The beginning reference point is "0" at the western border of the state for east/west highways and "0" at the southern border of the state for north/south highways. If the highway does not extend to a western or southern border, then the beginning reference point is at the westernmost or southernmost limit of the highway.
Exit numbering in Minnesota is used on Interstate freeways. Exit numbering is based on the reference location signs as mentioned in the previous question (i.e.; an exit located between reference location sign 48 and 49 would be numbered Exit Number 48). If multiple exits are located within the same mile, the exit is numbered with a letter following, such as 48A and 48B. The lettering follows alphabetically from west to east and south to north. For more information, on the rules regarding the numbering system or the exit number for a specific interchange, contact Heather Lott at 651-234-7371 or Rick Sunstrom at 651-234-7381.
The most frequently used signing manuals are typically:
- Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices – state standards for uniformity of sign design and placement, based upon federal standards
- Traffic Engineering Manual – Chapter 6 – supplements the Minnesota Manual on Traffic Control Devices by providing additional guidelines on use of standard signs, as well as MnDOT’s guide and business signing policies.
- Minnesota Standard Signs Manual – listing of the standard signs used throughout Minnesota, including dimensioned drawings of sign panels for fabrication purposes
- Minnesota Standard Sign Summary – handbook used for identifying standard signs and appropriate panel size based upon roadway type
- Additional manuals can be found by checking the Signing - Manuals, Handbooks and Guidelines website and/or Traffic Engineering - Publications for a listing of available online documents.
The legal height for vehicles is 13 feet, 6 inches. The low clearance sign is used to warn road users of clearances less than 12 inches above this legal height. Clearance below bridges on freeways is typically 16 feet, 4 inches and for overhead mounted signs is 17 feet, 4 inches.
If installed for a parallel parking spot on an urban street, the bottom of the sign needs to be 7 feet above the sidewalk. If installed in a parking lot, the sign must be visible to the driver when the vehicle is parked in the disabled parking space.
6% refers to the amount of slope of the highway from the top to the bottom of the hill - 6 percent means that for every 100 feet horizontally, the highway drops 6 feet. These signs are placed in advance of steep grades requiring special precaution on the part of road users.
No. MnDOT only uses aluminum as the base material for sign panels. Sheet aluminum is used for smaller signs; larger signs and overhead mounted signs are made with extruded aluminum panels.
MnDOT uses sheeting materials listed on our Approved Products List. Currently, the type of material used by MnDOT is Type XI retroreflective sheeting. For other specifics on MnDOT sign sheeting materials or the Approved Products List, contact Michelle Moser at 651-234-7380.