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Section 2: Continuous Lighting

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A continuous lighting system provides relatively uniform lighting on all main lanes and direct connections and complete interchange lighting of all interchanges. Frontage roads are not normally continuously lighted by TxDOT.

The lighting units may be conventional luminaires or high mast assemblies or a combination.

NOTE: Continuous lighting requires the financial participation of the city (see Continuous Lighting, Chapter 4, Section 2).

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The following roadways are eligible for continuous lighting systems:

  • urban freeways that are multi-lane divided facilities for which full control of access is provided
  • multi-lane arterial highways with partial control of access where the following conditions exist:
    • access is provided to abutting property
    • at-grade crossings are provided at minor streets and roads
    • where grade separation structures are provided at major crossings of arterial highways, streets, and roads.
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Continuous lighting may be warranted under one of the conditions described in the following table.

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Warranting Conditions


Sections where the current average daily traffic (ADT) is 30,000 or greater.


Sections where three or more successive interchanges are located with an average spacing of 1.5 miles or less and adjacent areas outside the right of way are substantially urban in character.

NOTE: Interchanges must also qualify for safety lighting under one of Cases SL-4 through SL-7.


Freeway sections of 2 miles or more passing through a substantially developed suburban or urban area in which two or more of the following conditions exist:

  • local traffic operates on a complete street grid having some form of street lighting, parts of which are visible from the freeway
  • the freeway passes through a series of develop-ments such as residential, commercial, industrial and civic areas, colleges, parks, terminals, etc. that include lighted roads, streets, parking areas, yards, etc.
  • separate cross streets, both with and without connecting ramps, occur with an average spacing of 0.5 miles or less, some of which are lighted as part of the local street system
  • the freeway cross section elements, such as median and borders, are substantially reduced in width below desirable sections used in relatively open country.


Sections where the ratio of night to day crash rates is at least 2.0 times the statewide average for all unlighted similar sections, and a study indicates that lighting may be expected to result in a significant reduction in the night crash rate.

NOTE: Because the ratio of night to day crash rates for a given section of roadway cannot always be statistically verified, this measure must be considered as an aid to design rather than an absolute rule. Engineering judgment should be exercised when using this warrant. See Title 43, Texas Administrative Code, Section 25.11, for additional information.

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Specially Funded Projects

For specially funded projects, the project authorization must describe the ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the continuous lighting.

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