Keeping pavement in good shape and why that's important
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- Last Updated: August 31, 2018 August 31, 2018
City streets are assets that must be maintained like any other public property. Our goal is to maintain street pavement by keeping Albany streets in good condition for the least cost over time. To understand that approach, it’s important to consider:
- street condition,
- how pavements fail, and
- general repair methods and costs.
Determining Street Condition
Managing assets starts with understanding what assets you have and assessing their condition. Streets are typically rated by a Pavement Condition Index (PCI). PCIs are based on a scale of 0-100: zero is the worst and 100 is the best street condition. The City of Albany has a PCI assessment done about every five years to evaluate pavement condition, suggest how best to maintain that pavement, and how to prioritize projects.
How pavements fail
Pavement typically deteriorates slowly during the first few years after it’s installed; it declines quickly after that, regardless of the street design or paving materials.
Source: National Center for Pavement Preservation
Choosing the best way to preserve or renew pavement depends on the condition of the existing pavement, how it has failed, and how old it is. Here are some options based on PCI:
Surface treatments like chip seal and overlays cost much less than completely rebuilding the street. The lower the PCI, the more it costs to bring the street back to good condition.
The most cost-effective strategy is to renovate or renew pavement about every 8-10 years. Smaller, incremental improvements have the lowest life-cycle investment cost. This is why the City invests in maintaining streets that are in good condition, so that those streets will stay in good condition for decades.
(Click for a larger versions. Figure Source: Northwest Technology Transfer Center)
Visit Past Presentations and Public Meetings to see the January 23, 2017 memo, presentation, and meeting minutes where the City Council discussed pavement asset management.