Annual Pavement Survey Gathers Data on Street Conditions in South Arlington
By Nina Sherer, Public Works
Posted on July 19, 2022, July 19, 2022

Pavement Survey Vehicle

There’s little doubt about the impact technology has on our daily lives. We see it everywhere we look — our computers, phones, cars, refrigerators, and road maintenance. Yes, even the upkeep of the roads you drive is affected by technology.

The Public Works Department recently completed the data collection phase of its annual pavement survey program. The program consists of contracting with a third-party vendor who operates a fleet of sophisticated data collection vehicles equipped with an array of precision instrumentation and data collection equipment. Each year the vendor collects data on one-third of the City’s street. This year’s survey focused on south Arlington south of Interstate 20.

The data collection vehicles traveled roads in the target area collecting information on the type, extent, and severity of pavement surface distress (i.e. cracks and ruts). Information on smoothness and ride comfort was also collected.

 Over the next few months, the vendor will analyze the data and provide up-to-date information on each segment’s condition. The new data is entered into an asset management system and combined with other factors to determine each road segment’s score, or Overall Condition Index (OCI), of 0-100 and help staff identify deficiencies, prioritize roadway projects, and monitor pavement performance.

 Segments with an OCI rating lower than 50 are categorized “red” and recommended for inclusion in the department’s Capital Improvement Program and repaired through a rebuild that may also include water and sanitary sewer, stormwater, pedestrian, and other infrastructure improvements. Roads with a rating between 50 and 79 are called “yellow” and are included in the City’s Street Maintenance Program. Work performed under this program is aimed at prolonging the useful life of a roadway and include mill and overlay, crack seal, and slab maintenance or replacement. “Green” roads are those road segments with a rating of 80 or higher and receive either crack seal or slab maintenance, depending on the type of roadway surface. Currently, 85% of the City’s road segments are categorized as yellow or green.

 Using technology to gather and record roadway data allows the City to develop a comprehensive and proactive approach to roadway management that ensures road maintenance budgets are spent wisely. Using this approach, the Public Works Department performed work on over 445 lane miles during fiscal year 2021. Of these, 26 miles were improved through a capital improvement project, the remaining lane miles received maintenance work either by city staff or contractors.

 The pavement survey aligns with two Arlington City Council priorities, Enhance Regional Mobility and Put Technology to Work. Residents can stay up to date on street improvements across The American Dream City by visiting the City of Arlington’s Street Tracker website.

Data in Action Street Maintenance for Fiscal Year 2021

Data in Action, Enhance Regional Mobility, Put Technology to Work
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