def # 232 12/14/11
OCEAN COUNTY TO INVENTORY STREET SIGNS;
GRANT FROM NJTPA HELPS COVER COSTS
TOMS RIVER - It sounds like a daunting task, but Ocean County will begin a complete inventory of its more than 40,000
street signs beginning in the new year.
"We are undertaking the project in order to meet the new requirements outlined by the Federal Highway Administration," said
Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. "In addition, we expect this project will result in the County
providing a better response to public concerns and increase safety on our roadways."
Effective January 2008, the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Federal Highway Administration Publication)
established minimum levels of retro reflectivity for all regulatory, warning and guide signs. Subsequent editions of the
MUTCD have established target compliance dates for sign retro reflectivity and determining a method for meeting these
The MUTCD requires signs to be either illuminated or made with retro reflective sheeting materials. Most signs in the U.S.
are made with retro reflective sheeting materials, which degrade over time and therefore have a limited life. Until now,
there has been little information available to determine when signs need to be replaced based on retro reflectivity.
In order to accurately and effectively manage the Countyís sign inventory and strive to meet the MUTCDís compliance dates,
a GIS based Sign Management System (SMS) will assist the County in reaching itís goal of compliance with MUTCDís
"Ocean County has more than 620 miles of county roads " the largest county road network in the state," said
Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as liaison to the countyís Road Department. "Any motorists knows there are numerous
signs on every roadway and we need to catalog each of them to meet the new requirements."
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is expected to award a contract to GPI at its Dec. 21 meeting in the
amount of $206,395 to do the work. A $133,000 grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority will cover more
than half of the cost.
According to Kelly, the consultant will create a videolog system that will provide the County with a snapshot of the
current sign inventory along the 620 miles of County roadways.
Currently the County's existing sign management system contains about 65 percent of the County's estimated 40,000 signs.
From this Videolog system, the consultant will update the County's existing sign management system.
"The database will include basic inventory data such as sign type like stop signs, or a speed limit sign, size, location
and other pertinent data that is necessary to allow the County to maintain its sign inventory and meet the federal
requirements," Kelly said. "Providing retro reflective delineation and signing is important as a means of
reducing higher nighttime crash rates. Safety on our roadways is a priority in Ocean County and this will help increase
safety for our drivers."
High resolution images from the Videolog system will be input into the videlog system allowing the user to see an image of
the sign in the database.
"There are some additional benefits to the videolog system," Lacey said. "It can be used to view conditions along
roadways and identify issues that need to be addressed. It will also allow us to respond to citizen complaints more
efficiently and effectively since the videolog will let us a snapshot of the area where the concern has been lodged."
Kelly noted this was a cost effective approach in developing a new sign inventory.
"Partnering with the NJTPA which is providing the grant for this work is a benefit to the County," Kelly said. "The
grant allows us to keep our costs lower in getting this project completed."
Agencies have until January 2012 to establish and implement a sign assessment or management method to maintain
minimum levels of sign retro reflectivity. The compliance date for meeting the minimum retro reflectivity requirements on
regulatory, warning, and ground-mounted guide signs is January 2015. For overhead guide signs and street name signs, the
compliance date is January 2018.