Enhancing Traffic Signs to Resist Hurricane-Force Winds

Document Type


Publication Date



The hurricane season in the Atlantic region extends from June 1 through November 30, during which nearly 97 percent of all hurricane activity occurs. The years 2004 and 2005 were very active for hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin—six intense hurricanes in 2004 and seven in 2005. During 2005, Miami-Dade County experienced extensive infrastructure damage from two of those hurricanes, Katrina and Wilma, within a time span of barely two months. Recovery costs were estimated at more than $5 million and included resetting or repairing traffic signals, traffic signs, streetlights, trees, guardrails, and sidewalks. Seven to ten hurricanes are predicted in the Atlantic region in 2007 and, of those, three to five may become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

One necessity in the hurricane recovery process is the reinstallation of roadside signs such as stop signs and speed limit signs. While the repair or reinstallation of roadside signs is sometimes delayed since the signs do not pose imminent danger to human life, as is the case when overhead signs fail, roadside signs greatly outnumber overhead signs, and their higher failure rate during a hurricane can significantly impact the recovery process and traffic safety after the hurricane.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

CUTRlines, v. 17, no. 2, p. 1-4.