by Dennis Dalman
Much of the guesswork will be taken out of maintenance of Sartell’s roads, thanks to a new system called “PavementView Plus.”
The system, introduced to the city earlier this year, involves computerized data on the conditions of all roads in Sartell, including all of its residential streets and connector roads.
At the last council meeting, Sartell City Engineer Mike Nielson and council members discussed the new system and made plans for a workshop to start prioritizing which roads and streets need which kind of fixing, based on the PavementView Plus data.
For several months in 2013, city street workers traveled all of Sartell’s 87 miles of roadways, including 16 miles of state-aid roads. The workers inspected the condition of each road and street and then entered data about the exact natures of the conditions per designated sections of each street. They noted such factors as cracks, holes, buckling, erosion and potholes. The computer system then assigned a point system, known as an Overall Condition Index for each roadway based on its condition – the lower the rating on a scale from 0-100, the more a road is due for repairs or even total reconstruction. For example, roads rating between 0-30 could be ready for a major reconstruction, those rated between 30-50 should be regularly monitored for specific kinds of repairs, those rated 50-60 probably need surface overlays and those rated 80-100 will likely get by with a seal-coating.
Nielson said the system data shows Sartell’s residential and collector streets average 62.39 on the pavement scale while more rural roads average 69.85.
The pavement OCI gives the council a basis for long-range planning in its capital-improvements plan.
“I like this (OCI) plan,” said council member Steve Hennes. “It’s a great improvement. The whole point is to get as much life out of our roads as possible.”
The council, by using OCI data, can better determine which roads will be fixed in which budget years during a five- or 10-year period and can then budget accordingly, based on those priorities. The roads in better condition might just need seal-coating to extend their lifetimes. Other roads, in serious deterioration, might require complete reconstruction. The OCI is expected to bring a new cost-effectiveness into road maintenance in the city.
Nielson said he will gather more data and budget information to share with the council at an upcoming workshop dedicated to the subject.