Specialized City Vehicle Finishes Survey of City’s Southern Streets
By Office of Communication
Posted on July 18, 2012, July 18, 2012

A specialized vehicle that can assess road conditions has finished its job in southern Arlington.

The vehicle uses lasers and photography to survey the streets. It takes digital images of the pavement surface and records the degrees of roughness and distress in the paving.

City officials contracted with a national research and engineering company are conducting the survey. Public Works officials will now work with the company to analyze the data collected, assign a score to sections of roadway and determine the degree of repairs needed.

"This allows us to prioritize the various needs based on the funding that is available," said Steve Cooke, the assistant public works director. "This gives us an objective view of everything. It helps us to have data. It helps make our planning very relevant."

Cooke said such specific information on road conditions helps city officials make the most effective use of available funds. It also aids officials by combining the newest data with past information collected to spot trends over time.

The pavement condition survey is conducted yearly throughout about one-third of the city's roadways.

The survey is part of a pavement management program funded by the street maintenance sales tax, which is used for ongoing street repair and maintenance. Voters may re-authorize the tax every four years. The last approval was in 2010.

Cooke said the analysis of street data never stops as officials seek to determine which roads need maintenance and which need a complete reconstruction. Some damaged roads are so complicated to repair that officials may opt to wait until the road can be added to a Capitol Projects list for a major overhaul.

Cooke said officials would look at the survey data over the coming months to determine the possible slate of upcoming repairs.

Specialized City Vehicle

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