Pavement management is not just about prolonging the lifespan of a road, but also optimizing the effectiveness of a budget. Every municipality has a unique pavement network. There are varying types of construction, pavement types, and functional classes. Many municipalities maintain a network of paved pedestrian pathways or bike paths in addition to their roads. Finding out what you have and what you need is only the first part of the process.
Less than 1% of agencies around the US have an annual budget that is large enough to rehabilitate their entire pavement network to excellent condition within a short 5-10 year window. This means that tough decisions need to be made about which pavement segments require urgent repairs, and which ones can be deferred until a later time. Pavement rehabilitations require significant investments by the city, and so the decision to defer some roads or rehabilitate others is not a trivial one. City managers want to make sure they are making determinations based on data driven factors and sound pavement management principals.
When Data Driven Decisions Save You Millions
The average municipality has nearly 200 centerline miles of pavement surface; divide that up by varying functional classes, pavement types, traffic and distress patterns and you may quickly arrive at thousands of unique pavement surfaces in a single town. All must be considered for potential rehabilitation. That magnitude of factors that require consideration simply cannot be adequately addressed without the aid of pavement management software.
When pavement management software is in use, the entire pavement network with distress and severity can be applied to a model of the city’s budget. This can ultimately provide the city with a proverbial road map of needed repairs based on the unique budget and street network conditions. This data driven process can be easily defended as the best practice, and can often help a municipality secure additional federal or state funding when it is desperately needed.
It is difficult to know what the future holds, but maintaining a 5-10 year plan that is based on best pavement management practices and defensible data can go a long way toward saving your city valuable tax-dollars and improving the level of service in your community.
Want to learn more about setting up a pavement management program in your city? Check out "Designing and Implementing a Pavement Management System" - An IMS Whitepaper