California Backlog of Deferred Road Maintenance has Become “Critical”

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on California Backlog of Deferred Road Maintenance has Become “Critical”
Jan 282017

Crews work last February on a joint construction project between Caltrans and the city of Sacramento near Capitol Mall. The governor and Legislature haven’t been able to agree yet on a transportation funding plan. (Rich Pedroncelli Associated Press)

Vancouver can’t afford to tend streets

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Aug 122013


Council receives audit on shortfall for building, maintaining its largest asset

Source: Stephanie Rice
Columbian staff writer

If you’re unhappy with the city’s improvements on Northeast 137th/138th Avenue from Northeast 28th to 49th streets, take heart: The city doesn’t have any money to continue the project from 49th Street north to Fourth Plain Road.

The city also doesn’t have money for four other high-priority capital improvement projects:

• Northeast 18th Street from Four Seasons Lane to Northeast 137th Avenue.

• Southeast First Street from Southeast 164th to 192nd avenues.

• Northeast 18th Street from Northeast 107th to 97th/98th avenues.

• Jefferson Street/Kauffman Avenue between Evergreen and W. Fourth Plain boulevards.

All together, the five projects would cost $46.1 million.

The Vancouver City Council was presented with a grim confirmation Monday of what it knew, that it is millions of dollars short on its goals of reconstructing streets, including ones that were built to a rural standard (such as Southeast First Street) and can’t handle urban traffic.

The councilors didn’t make any policy decisions Monday. They are scheduled to set a policy by mid-to-late November on how to best manage long-term transportation needs, including how those needs should be financed.

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SR-125 Road and Storm Drain Condition Evaluation

 General, GIS, Infrastructure Management, Planning  Comments Off on SR-125 Road and Storm Drain Condition Evaluation
Feb 152012

Opened in 2007, the State Route (SR) 125 toll road is approximately 10 miles long and extends from HWY 54 to I-905 in the City of Chula Vista, San Diego County, California. The city of Chula Vista witnessed rapid growth in housing development during the housing boom of the mid-2000s. An estimated 30,000 residential, commercial, and other parcel units were slated for development in this region. The SR-125 toll road, which was privately operated by South Bay Expressway (SBX), was created to accommodate this rapid expansion.

However, the economic slowdown of 2008 arrived and hit boom towns like Chula Vista particularly hard. Ridership and revenue projections made during the boom cycle fell short under the reality of recession. On July 29, 2011, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) voted to purchase the lease from SBX for about $345 million with various contingencies. (

VanderHawk Consulting LLC was contracted to perform a condition assessment of the road pavement and storm drainage systems on the SR-125 toll road and report the findings. The road pavement condition assessment was performed in accordance with the MicroPAVER pavement management protocol, while the storm drainage assessment was performed in a manner consistent with CalTrans’ storm drainage system evaluation procedures.  Almost 1,400 images (many geo-tagged) were captured for this project and comprise the most extensive analytical photo archive of the SR-125 toll road and drainage networks to date.

Road Maintenance Philosophy: Best First vs. Worst First

 Infrastructure Management  Comments Off on Road Maintenance Philosophy: Best First vs. Worst First
Jan 012011

Drivers often remember the roads that are bad as opposed to the roads that are good.  That section of potholed road where they nearly lost their right front tire stands out more than a smooth, defect-free, almost boring section of road.  This puts public works engineers in a difficult bind.  They have to balance maintaining their road pavements based on citizen complaints and other requests with more objective information obtained from regular field inspections and an established program for repair.  This is the battle of Best First versus Worst First maintenance philosophies.

Example PCI Deterioration Curve (MicroPAVER™)

The most common method for rating the condition of a road section is the PCI, or pavement condition index.  The PCI ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 being a failed road section littered with distresses such as potholes, alligator cracks, rutting, etc.  Rather than spending 4-5 times (or more) to rehabilitate or reconstruct a road section, it is more cost-effective on a network level to allocate repair funds to sections before they slip into the costly maintenance category.  This generally means applying some type of surface seal, crack sealing and/or other preventive maintenance measures on the roads in fair to satisfactory condition.  Utilizing a Best First approach allows agencies to spread their maintenance dollars to more roads and accrue additional funds for more costly repairs.