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Directing Traffic with Closed Signs

August 22, 2019

Whenever a road is closed it’s helpful to post temporary “road closed” signs and direct drivers to the detour. Road closure signs usually have black lettering over orange backgrounds, as specified by MUTCD. Here are various reasons to consider using portable signs to indicate a road is closed.

Parades and Special Events

City officials sometimes need to reroute roads for special events. They may need to close certain roads to assure heavy traffic does not get into residential neighborhoods. If the event attracts an unusual number of people it can lead to strangers taking up parking spaces and other inconveniences. So in order to manage traffic flow, road closed signs may be used for a matter of miles.

A university parking lot can fill up if there is a major concert or game on campus. Portable road closed signs are useful for segmenting parts of the parking lot so that VIPs and staff have easy access. The grand opening of a major sports venue might be a reason to use road closed signs to direct drivers to the front of the facility.

Traffic Control, Construction and Danger Zones

Another reason to use road closed signs is to keep traffic flowing around a construction work zone. The road closed signs can be placed around work crews to protect them from moving traffic. Orange signs can also be used for lane closures on highways. These signs often give extra information such as “Left Lane Closed 500 Feet.” In order for the sign to be seen by motorists from a distance it should be about 48 by 30 inches.

Some places use signs that say “Local Traffic Only” as a way of letting drivers know they will have to take a detour ahead. Detour signs often accompany road closure signs.

Road closure signs are often used in the winter where a street gets flooded and must be temporarily shut down. The signs may also be needed where intense winds have blown down tree branches or where debris has blocked the road. The signs are useful around highway curves in the mountains where rockslides and mudslides occur after severe storms.

Any place where danger is present, such as a toxic chemical spill, it’s acceptable to use a road closure sign to keep people away from a possible safety hazard. Road closure signs may be needed when roads are repaved or pavement markings are repainted.


Road closed signs are useful for temporary purposes until the road is restored or work near the area is completed. Contact Zumar to learn more about proper signage at our Arizona, California or Washington location.

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