Smooth Ride: Arlington Increases Investment in Street Maintenance, Repairs

As part of an annual inspection, a fleet of sophisticated data collection vehicles equipped with an array of precision instrumentation are surveying one-third of Arlington’s streets this month to help the City prioritize repairs.

There’s little doubt about the impact technology has on our daily lives. We see it everywhere we look; our phones, cars, TVs, refrigerators and road maintenance. Yes, even the upkeep of the roads you drive is affected by technology.

Since the mid-1990s, the Public Works and Transportation Department has conducted an annual pavement survey using state-of-the-art technology to inventory the condition of all streets within the city limits.

The project consists of contracting with a third-party vendor that operates a fleet of sophisticated data collection vehicles equipped with an array of precision instrumentation and data collection equipment. Each year of the contract the vendor will collect data on one-third of the City’s streets. During the month of August, the vehicles will travel specific roads to collect information on:

• The type, extent, and severity of pavement surface distress (i.e. cracks and ruts); and
• The smoothness and ride comfort of the road.

Click here to view the 2017 Pavement Survey Map. 

The data collected is entered into an asset management system and combined with other factors to determine the road’s score, or Overall Condition Index (OCI), of 0-100. The OCI assigned to individual road segments assists city officials in identifying the proper level of maintenance needed to keep the road viable for as long as possible or whether or not a complete rebuild is needed.

Click here to see a map of current street conditions.

This technology and data gathering allows the City to develop a comprehensive and proactive approach to roadway management that ensures road maintenance budgets are spent wisely.

“This pavement management system provides a condition inventory of every street segment in the city and tracks its maintenance history, which helps staff identify deficiencies, prioritize roadway projects, and monitor pavement performance,” said Mindy Carmichael, Public Works and Transportation director. “By continuing to invest in technology, we have afforded ourselves the ability to make informed decisions that will allow staff to optimize available resources and protect the citizen’s investment in the most cost effective manner.”

The City of Arlington recognizes that smooth, well-maintained streets are important to residents. About 58 percent of Arlington residents rank the maintenance of all major streets as excellent or good while 51 percent rank the condition of neighborhood streets as excellent or good in the latest City Services Satisfaction Survey.

Enhancing Regional Mobility is a top priority for the Arlington City Council. When the Council adopted a “worst first” approach to street repairs and maintenance in 2015, Arlington had 320 lane miles with an Overall Condition Index score that indicated those streets were in need of a complete rebuild. Today, Arlington has whittled that number down to only 278 lane miles.

The City of Arlington invested approximately $43.6 million in street improvements in Fiscal Year 2012. This year, the City has increased street maintenance and rebuilding spending to approximately $57 million.

This year, the City has awarded more than $38 million in road construction contracts and has a street maintenance budget of approximately $18 million to keep that progress moving forward.

Residents with questions or needing additional information regarding the vehicles, project, or process are encouraged to contact the City of Arlington at 817-459-6561.

To stay up-to-date on street improvements across The American Dream City, visit the City of Arlington’s Street Tracker website.