Half-mile markers to increase safety, accuracy along Oklahoma interstates
July 25, 2018
The nearly 700 miles of non-tolled interstate that make Oklahoma the crossroads of America will be receiving a safety upgrade in the next few years as mile marker signs are replaced and half-mile markers are added. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation began installing the new half-mile signs along a 65-mile stretch of I-35 through Cleveland and Garvin counties in the south central part of Oklahoma.
The addition of the 130 half-mile marker signs, along with the replacement of 130 regular one mile marker signs in this area, will serve as a pilot project before the half-mile signs begin to appear on the rest of Oklahoma’s interstates. The signs will be installed as part of routine sign replacement projects. After further study of the pilot area, a project to add the half-mile signs to interstates in the southern portion of the state will be considered.
“We are excited to add the half-mile markers for the benefits they will provide to motorists and our partners in the emergency response community,” said Terri Angier, ODOT spokesperson.
The signs will serve motorists, law enforcement, emergency responders and ODOT maintenance crews by shortening the distances between known reference points. Placing the signs every half-mile will assist in emergency response, in more accurate reporting of collisions and reporting of debris on highways.
“Doubling the amount of signs does double the cost roughly,” Angier said. “However, the benefits of safety and accuracy for motorists and emergency responders are a valuable advantage of the half-mile markers.”
Each sign costs about $200. Funds for the pilot project come from the state funds. However, in the future as the program continues, federal funds can be used.
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the established national guidelines for traffic applications, allows for the markers to be placed as frequently as every tenth of a mile, but after studying other states’ implementation of improved mile marking signs, ODOT has decided every half mile is the most adequate and cost effective way to implement the markers.
Currently, mile markers are only used on Oklahoma’s interstates with plans to include the new mile markers in other sign replacement projects across the state.
(Editors and News Directors: For questions, please call the ODOT Media & Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)