Evaluation of Weathering Steel Overhead Sign Structures in West Virginia
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Evaluation of Weathering Steel Overhead Sign Structures in West Virginia

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    Final Report
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    This report presents the results and findings of the research work aimed at evaluating 82 weathering steel sign structures in Charleston Interstate System in West Virginia. Twenty-six comprehensive inspection forms were developed to objectively evaluate the current condition of the following sign structure types: single and double arm ground mount cantilever structures; bridge superstructure mount cantilever structures; retaining wall mount cantilever structures; retaining wall mount truss structures; two-dimensional and three-dimensional ground mount truss structures; bridge parapet mount truss structures; and bridge frame mount structures. The work included performing extensive field inspection of the elements of each sign structure including the foundations, drainage issues, grout pads, base plates, anchor bolts/nuts/washers, connections between base plates and vertical columns, vertical columns and horizontal chords, connections between vertical columns and horizontal chords, welded splice connections, and attachments. An element condition rating was developed. The element condition rating took into consideration specific rating criteria ranging from severe to good condition. Current condition of each sign structure was then evaluated by an overall condition rating system. The overall condition rating is estimated based on calculating the ratio between the total score of each structure (S) and its maximum possible total score (Smax). Following the developed rating methodology presented in the report for the inspected weathering steel sign structures, seven percent were found to be at high risk, 50 percent were at moderate risk, and 43 percent were at low risk. The rating system is intended to assist the WVDOH to make rational decisions on whether there is a need to repair or replace at-risk elements or connections. In-depth evaluations are recommended for the sign structures with the highest risk rating. Further evaluations are recommended for the sign structures with a moderate risk rating to detect any serious defects which may endanger the structure or the traveling public. Normal periodic inspections are recommended for the sign structures with a low risk rating.
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