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TRB Subcommittee AFF10 (1), Traffic Structures
23 January 2007
Subcommittee Scope

The purpose of this subcommittee is to advance the state-of-the-art with respect to traffic structures, including luminaire supports, signal poles, sign supports, changeable message signs (known variably as VMS, CMS, or DMS) and camera poles. Activities include

• Identify research needs, develop problem statements, and facilitate funding
• Sponsor paper / conference sessions and workshops at the TRB Annual Meetings
• Publish circulars on the state of the practice

Partners / Liaisons

• AASHTO / ARTBA / AGC Task Force 13
• AASHTO Technical Committee 12 (T-12), Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires and Traffic Signals
• Subcommittee on Economic Fabrication (SCEF)
• TRB Committees
- AFF10, General Structures
- AFH70, Fabrication and Inspection of Metal Structures
- TRB Traffic Committee(s)


Traffic structures comprise high-mast towers, luminaire supports, sign supports. signal support, and camera poles. The robust performance of these structures is critical for daily bridge and highway operation and as well as during extreme events. This point was emphasized by recent catastrophic hurricanes, where these structures carried signs and traffic metering devices directing the public safely.

Paper and conference session activity at recent TRB Annual meetings and ongoing research projects demonstrate that there is substantial interest in this topic. Many states are responding to the new AASHTO specifications as well as looking for guidance in light of the recent failures of various structure types.

In addition to being a maintenance nuisance, traffic structure failures can be life threatening. For many structures, failure of a primary component leads to complete collapse. (i.e., a single column structure is by nature failure critical). Considering their proximity to highways, the threat to motorists is clear. There are a number of documented cases where collapse of one of these structures has resulted in the death of a motorist.

One common cause of collapse is failure from load-induced fatigue. Cyclic stresses are produced by natural wind or other aero-elastic phenomena or generated by the passage of vehicles. There are also several documented failures where injuries have occurred due to the failure of the hardware used to attach sign, signals, and luminaires.

The specifications for inspection, maintenance, inventory management, and construction undergoing change to respond to the new design specification and the service failures. A considerable amount of research has recently been completed and further research programs are underway. The committee will serve to provide a forum for the dissemination of the research by sponsoring sessions at the annual meeting and help in the development of a coordinated research approach. Other issues related to fabrication and design have been evolving at a very fast pace as research is moved into practice. Considering the sheer magnitude of these structures, a committee focused on these critical structures would provide the needed focal point for the coordination for research efforts and the sharing of information. This committee would also work closely with AASHTO Committee T-12 and other TRB committees associated with these structures in the transportation system.

Members / Friends List

Ballinger Craig, Craig Ballinger & Associates
Bowman Mark, Purdue
Calzone Tom, Carboline
Cheng Hannah, NJDOT
Connor Robert, Purdue
Cozy Brian, HDR
Edwards Jon, Illinois DOT
Fisher John, Lehigh
Frank Karl, University of Texas
Fredrick Gregg, Wyoming DOT
Garlich Michael, Collins Engineering
Gillespie Aaron, West Virginia DOT
Gopu Vijaya, Louisiana Transportation Research Center
Gordon Gary, PennDOT
Green Travis, Wiss, Janney, Elstner
Hanes Taylor, Applied Ultrasonics
Hilton Jamie, KTA Tator
Hohmann David, TxDOT
Kline Eric, KTA Tator
Koob Michael Wiss, Janney, Elstner
Naji Karim, PennDOT
Macchietto Carl, Valmont
Medlock Ronnie, High Steel Structures
Mercer Christian, MTQ
Murillo Alfred, Carter-Burgess
Ocel Justin, PSI
Roy Sougata, Lehigh
Shoup Bill, SSPC
Spangler Brian, PennDOT
Starnater Eric, Lamb-Star Engineering
Sugimoto Masakazu, Nippon Steel
Via Bill Virginia, DOT
Volgyi Julius, Virginia DOT
Weeraswoiyer, Anu HDR
Williams William, TTI
Wright Bill, FHWA

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