A U.S. City near the Chesapeake Bay maintains about 100,000 traffic and street signs to help the city’s nearly 240,000 residents get where they need to go.
Until recently, those signs were tracked manually, with little more than a general description of a sign’s physical location used to identify it. If a sign needed maintenance, or needed to be installed or removed, a crew had to rely on those imprecise descriptions to get the job done.
“These signs get battered and beat up, but the Camcode labels stick really well.”
“We weren’t able to keep very good track of our assets,” says a traffic maintenance supervisor for the city. “We couldn’t keep a count of physical sign locations and we still don’t have them all but are working toward it.”
To achieve accurate tracking of street sign location and condition – now required by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as of 2008 – the city turned to Camcode and its Metalphoto® bar code asset tags.
“Camcode spent a considerable amount of time with us before we even spent a dime,” says the city’s superintendent of traffic operations. “They helped at every stage in the development of our labeling program … to be sure we would be satisfied with our final product.”
The city has so far labeled about 1,000 of its sign assets with Camcode’s bar code asset tags, which are tracked along with GPS coordinates in a new asset management software package. Road crews will eventually be able to use electronic tablets in the field to locate sign assets and track maintenance activities.
“Camcode helped at every stage in the development of our labeling program … to be sure we would be satisfied with our final product.”
“Our goals are to plan and schedule the repair and replacement of signs based on location, condition and type,” says the superintendent. “Through planning, we expect to see greater efficiency, leading to lower labor, material and equipment costs.”
But just as important as having a comprehensive and easy-to-use system for sign asset tracking, he says, was selecting a label that would hold up under even the toughest weather conditions.
“Camcode showed us how well their label would last outdoors and that it would continue to adhere to the sign,” he continues. “They basically provided proof of quality and backed it up.” From the traffic maintenance supervisor’s vantage point overseeing day-to-day sign maintenance, those assurances of quality have held true.
“We went through testing with different (vendors’) tags,” he says, and expects all 100,000 of the city’s signs will be tagged, tracked and mapped by 2012 to comply with FHWA’s new regulations. “These signs get battered and beat up, but the Camcode labels stick really well.”