Pavement Managers will tell you that the most important aspect of a road is the base, from which everything else can be built. In our newest series, ESA Essentials, our goal is to provide a strong base of knowledge for users of the IMS Easy Street Analysis application. In this series we will cover all of the essential elements to the ESA pavement analysis software, preparing new and experienced pavement managers, alike, with a strong foundation that provides both clarity and confidence to future pavement management decisions.
This article is a companion piece to the video which can be found in the link below:
New to Easy Street Analysis
If you are reading this guide than you are probably already aware of the purpose behind the IMS Easy Street Analysis pavement management software, but you may not be aware of the extent of its management capabilities. In this series we will cover all the basics to get your team started.
While the results of a pavement management survey can certainly be documented into a final report that illustrates the findings, IMS believes it is imperative that City staff have access to the pavement condition and analysis results without having to become software experts themselves. That is why Easy Street Analysis exists as a fully functional pavement management program that is housed in user-friendly, interactive spreadsheet.
In this first article we will cover some of the tabs users will want to understand the very first time they open ESA.
Keeping Tabs on ESA
The first tab you are likely to see when opening ESA is known as the “Tab of Tabs”. It is simply and index of the various tabs available in the program, with details on each one. Keep this in mind as an index if you happen to be looking for specific information or functionality.
The Summary Tab – As Mark Kramer puts it in the companion video to this article “This is where you will find answers to all the questions your managers office, directors or council members will ask.” It includes facts about the network, such as mileage and PCI of each functional class as well as total network backlog percentage and total mileage. This is a great starting place to pull some basic information about your networks condition.
Definitions – The pavement management industry is full of acronyms that you will find throughout ESA as well as in a pavement management report. This tab is a quick refresher just in case you forgot what, say, "FWM" stands for. (Full Width Mill)
Comps – This tab includes some quick budgeting estimates that can be helpful planning tools both before the analysis is completed, and to check the results of the completed analysis. These are often referred to as “bar napkin math” estimates, but don’t let that fool you. They are often very accurate in determining a budget range that the city should strive to meet. There are 3, one based on total network value, one based on average condition, and one based on various rehab rates for your city and the surrounding area.
$Plot – This is your asset value estimate tab. Here you will see the breakdowns of reconstruction costs for your entire network, as well as its estimated total value. We like to refer to the pavement network as the most valuable visible asset in a city. This tab will demonstrate why that is the case by breaking down construction costs.
Equity Removal – The chart on this tab breaks down the costs associated with underfunding at various budget levels. The idea is that an underfunded pavement network will accrue additional costs to the city that will need to eventually be repaid. This table is a helpful visual aid to show the cost of underfunding.
Network Analysis – This is where all of the calculations are done. We will go way more in depth on this tab in a later article, but for now just know that this tab is where you will add planned work and run annual budgets through the analysis.
Parameters – This is where the parameters are set for the analysis. Again, we will focus on this tab much more later, but this is where you will set naming conventions for functional classes / set GFP ranges / identify rehab prioritizations and more.
Rehab Activities – This tab shows a summary of all rehabilitation types as well as rates by functional class. These are usually broken down in cost per square yard.
Inventory – This tab is a collection of every street segment and a breakdown of the survey condition and recommended rehab to restore the segment to full service. Each segment is organized by GISID and includes from and to streets. The condition breakdown also describes each surveyed distress on a 1-10 severity scale.
Rehab by Segment/Year – These two tabs show an export of whatever budget run was most recently done in the network analysis tab. It will show you recommended rehabs and estimated costs per segment and per year.
Helpful Visual Aids
The next selection of tabs will display a series of graphs that are visual representations of the information contained in the inventory and rehab by segment/year tabs:
Annual PCI – This graph shows the resulting PCI at various budget levels
GFP/PCI post rehab – These graphs show the post rehab condition of the network depending on the budget information loaded into the network analysis tab.
Survey PCI and Current PCI – While the survey PCI tab will show the condition breakdown at the time of the survey, the current PCI tab will show the PCI that is aged appropriately to the date that is set in the network analysis tab.
So there we have an overview of some of the tabs that ESA users will become familiar with. That should be enough to digest for now. Next week we will begin our deep dive into the specifics of how to get an ESA analysis up and running for your city, including scheduling planned work manually in the Network analysis tab.