Here are some approximate figures for sign installation costs. These are based on construction project bid prices in Arizona from 2015 to 2019.
These prices will vary depending on quantity, location, type, etc.
On irregularly shaped signs such as numbered highway route markers, stop and yield signs, or no passing zone pennants, the sign area for payment is normally based on the largest width multiplied by the largest height.
All costs listed are for a complete sign assembly in place, including all panels, retroreflective sheetings and films, legend, fabrication, transportation, labor, hardware, and painting/finishing of posts.
Note that inflation, labor cost changes, and fluctuations in commodities markets and metal value may make some of these figures quickly obsolete. Use with caution.
Note: if you're evaluating the replacement cost of an existing sign, you must take into account the extra labor and transportation costs involved, along with the relative urgency of sign replacement.
This is why Stop signs are considered among the most expensive signs. Due to their critical importance in intersection safety, they should be replaced as soon as is reasonably feasible - even if that means driving hundreds of miles round trip at any hour of the day or night, at $1.50 per mile for the truck and $40 - $75 per hour overtime for each sign crewperson. Taking this into account, a simple $125 STOP sign suddenly becomes a multi-thousand-dollar expense.
Engineering costs with respect to signing can be more difficult to define. If a 3 month study results in installation of only 3 signs, it may not be equitable to charge the whole egineering cost to those installations. Normally, engineering costs are treated separately, but if there is a need to take them into account, then a rule of thumb estimate is engineering cost equals 10% to 15% of construction cost.
Updated 15 March 2021 (fix typo)
Scripting: Richard C. Moeur
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Linked sign layout files in PDF format provided courtesy of FHWA's MUTCD website
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