Sign Shop

Freeway & Expressway Overpass & Underpass Identification and
Enhanced Reference Location Signs

Location: Throughout the state.

Current Sign: Many parts of the state have already implemented this type of roadway recognition, especially the Thruway and Regions 1, 4 and 5 and parts of Regions 3 and 9. To my knowledge, Region 3 is the only region that has currently implemented the Enhanced Reference Location Signs per the National MUTCD specification.

Overpass Sign

Various signing methods are being implemented concerning advancements in motorist safety, more specifically overpass and underpass identification signs and Enhanced Reference Location Signs (D10-4). I agree with the implementation as it's a relatively unintrusive way of aiding drivers as to where they are located along a given roadway. When used in conjunction with the NYSDOT reference markers, a motorist's location can be pinpointed to the nearest tenth-mile.

NYSDOT should continue to implement these types of signs with all sign replacement and bridge painting projects. Markers currently vary in appearance in various parts of the state. A more unified approach is needed for maximum motorist recognition. In addition, the mileage indicated on the milemarker must correspond to the mileage for that touring route number and NOT for it's location along an freeway portion of that route, as there are several touring routes in the state that have scattered expressway facilities. This would also keep the markers in compliance with the National MUTCD Section 2E.54:

Except as provided in the option below, Reference Location (D10-1 through D10-3) signs (see Section 2D.46) shall be placed on all expressway facilities that are located on a route where there is a reference location sign continuity and on all freeway facilities to assist road users in estimating their progress, to provide a means for identifying the location of emergency incidents and traffic crashes, and to aid in highway maintenance and servicing.

Enhanced Reference Location (D10-4) signs (see Figure 2E-45), which enhance the reference location sign system by identifying the route, may be placed on freeways or expressways (instead of Reference Location signs) or on conventional roads.

To augment an enhanced reference location sign system, Intermediate Enhanced Reference Location (D10-5) signs (see Figure 2E-45), which show the tenth of a kilometer (mile) with a decimal point, may be installed along any section of a highway route or ramp at one tenth of a kilometer (mile) intervals, or at some other regular spacing.

With NYSDOT's own excellent reference marker system, I don't believe that the tenth-mile markers as described above are absolutely necessary.

Another area of concern with current milemarkers are I-90 in the Albany area and the Northway portion of I-87, as the markers do not indicate their mileage from the beginning of the corresponding interstate in New York, but rather, one of many sections along that touring route. This creates duplicate milemarkers and interchange numbers.

In the above example, the overpass marker is in Series D mixed case. This type of sign is seen at intersections on state touring routes throughout Wyoming County and provide maximum legibility. While the Thruway Authority currently has overpass markers along the Thruway, I-190 and I-95, they are absent from I-84. Perhaps with I-84 being turned back over to NYSDOT for maintenance, these will appear on the overpasses.