Oct 10, 2023 - Highway Sign Structures in Extreme Conditions: British Columbias Unique Challenge

Highway sign structures serve a pivotal role in guiding countless travelers on their journeys, ensuring safety, and providing vital information. But when these signs are placed in challenging environments, their design, construction, and maintenance demand a higher level of attention and expertise. British Columbia (BC), with its diverse and extreme climatic zones, is a prime example of such a challenging environment. Here's how Nova Pole navigates the challenges posed by BC's extreme conditions to provide robust and reliable highway sign structures.

British Columbia, flanked by the Pacific Ocean and nestled against the majestic Rocky Mountains, presents a unique climatic tapestry. Coastal regions experience heavy rainfall, while the northern parts endure frigid winters. The interior valleys grapple with hot summers and cold winters, and mountainous terrains are subjected to intense snowfall and high winds.

These extremes necessitate that highway sign structures in BC are not only constructed for durability but also tailored for specific regional challenges.

1. Wind Resistance: Areas like the Fraser Valley or the coastal regions often experience strong wind gusts. Sign structures here are designed with aerodynamic features, using flexible yet sturdy materials that can sway with the wind without getting uprooted or damaged.

2. Snow and Ice: Northern BC and the mountainous terrains experience heavy snowfall. Signs here are built with sloped or curved tops, ensuring that snow and ice do not accumulate and add undue weight, which could compromise the structure's integrity.

3. Material Selection: Given the corrosive nature of saltwater in coastal regions and the road salts used in snowy areas, the materials selected for sign structures, especially in these zones, are treated to resist corrosion. Stainless steel, aluminum with protective coatings, and galvanized steel are commonly used.

4. UV Protection: The summer sun in regions like the Okanagan Valley can be quite intense. Materials that can resist UV degradation, especially when it comes to sign face materials and coatings, become crucial.

BC's rugged terrain means that many highway signs need to be installed on slopes, near cliffs, or in areas where standard installation procedures don't apply. Nova Pole's innovative foundation designs and installation methods ensure that these signs stand firm, irrespective of the challenging geography.

Designing and installing a sign structure tailored for BC's extreme conditions is just half the battle. Regular maintenance ensures these structures remain functional and safe throughout their lifecycle. This involves:


  • Regular inspections, especially after extreme weather events.
  • Cleaning to remove accumulated dirt, moss, or ice.
  • Checking and tightening bolts and fasteners.
  • Assessing and repairing any structural damage or corrosion.
  • Nova Pole's Commitment to Safety and Excellence

At Nova Pole, we recognize that every region of British Columbia comes with its unique set of challenges. Our commitment is to design, manufacture, and maintain highway sign structures that stand the test of time—and weather. Collaborating closely with local governments and transportation agencies, we ensure that our structures meet regional requirements while upholding national safety standards.