Evaluation of Treated Wooden Sign Posts

Report No: 80-R7

Published in 1979

About the report:

In view of the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation's need to conserve dwindling revenues, the Traffic Research Advisory Committee recommended that the feasibility of using unpainted, treated wooden sign posts instead of painted posts be investigated. With the subsequent change to the use of unpainted, treated wooden sign posts, the Advisory Committee recommended that the evaluation be extended to compare the target values of painted and unpainted posts. In the evaluation, special attention was focused on residues formed from the chemicals used to treat the post and adverse effects they might have on the legibility and general appearance of the sign panel. The target values of a painted and an unpainted post were observed under different conditions. After 36 months, the retroreflective characteristics of the sign panel mounted on the unpainted, treated wooden sign post had not changed abnormally or significantly. Also no streaking on the sign panel or twisting of the sign post was noted. A comparison of target values of the posts showed the painted post to be more visible at times; the difference was minimal and can be made inconsequential by using reflectors on the posts. The Department's decision to use unpainted, treated wooden sign posts was reconfirmed by the results of the evaluation.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Steve R. Blackwell

Last updated: January 24, 2024

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