Actual Cost Analysis from Texas DOT, 2009-2014
Beginning in 2009, South Texas Department of Transportation districts began retrofitting existing signs utilizing retrofit upgrade options either to replace older technology or to update troublesome signs. Through this time period, the tracking of average installed costs versus new installation costs was provided by contractors in 2014.
This comparison is based on each sign's capability of projecting 3 lines of 18 characters, 18 “high characters in amber color. The new DMS option does not reflect any feature upgrades to the signs each district may have added. The new DMS pricing is the minimum amount on the current purchasing contract at that time for four years. Both options were front access type signs. Excluded was the superstructure or support costs - given that retrofitting would use existing structures, the cost is not evaluated here. Contractors and the DOT estimates that new structures for overhead applications run $150,000-$200,000.