Roads are a critical component of any city's transportation infrastructure. The maintenance and rehabilitation of city streets ensures that the movement of people, as well as goods and services, continues effectively and efficiently.
The City of Edmonton has a comprehensive and strategic program to assess, repair and maintain the thousands of kilometres of roadways that citizens, businesses, and governments rely on every day to travel.
Process for Determining Which Roads are Fixed First
Arterial and collector roads are assessed for surface distress and ride comfort once every two years, and structural integrity measured every five years. These individual scores are then combined into an overall score called the Pavement Quality Index. Roads are ranked between 0 and 10 with the high number indicating an excellent condition.
Once assessments have been done, priorities are set based on the following process:
- The remaining life of each pavement section is predicted.
- The best rehabilitation method is determined for each road section that requires work in a future year.
- The available budget is factored in.
- An optimization routine is run to determine the most cost-effective mix of projects for the available funding.
- The resulting project list is adjusted to ensure coordination with utility work and other major Capital projects. Furthermore, adjustments are also made to minimize traffic impacts as much as possible.
It is important to note that while one road may appear to be in worse shape than another, there are many factors that must be considered before Transportation decides which roads must receive work.
Priorities are set based on the results of the assessment process. Resources provided in the budget are then allocated to where the need is greatest and where it makes the most sense in terms of the overall transportation network.
Costs for Repairing, Maintaining and Reconstructing Roads
The cost of fixing a road is determined by its condition; it is less expensive to maintain a road that is relatively new, and costs the most to fix when it must be torn up and replaced in its entirety. The cost of fixing a road increases as each year passes and the surface degrades from freeze/thaw cycles, rutting and increased use.
Crack sealing and microsurfacing a road while it is still in excellent condition costs $1.20 per m2 and $4.50 per m2 respectively. These are known as preservation treatments because their purpose is to slow down the natural degradation of the road and preserve service life.
Roads in fair condition require resurfacing ($23.33 per m2) or rehabilitation ($79.70 per m2).
Roads in poor to very poor condition are the most expensive, requiring pothole repairs ($78.77 per m2) and reconstruction ($209 per m2).
It is very important to understand that focusing all of the available funding on roads that are in the worst condition would lead to a relatively rapid decline in overall network condition. This is due to the fact that by doing a kilometre of reconstruction (at $209/m2), we miss the opportunity to save 4 kilometres of road that are about to fall into the reconstruction category.
Concerns or Questions?
Citizens can report a pothole via 311 or by using the online form. They can also use Twitter or 311 to ask questions/make comments about the roads, and Roadway Maintenance responds to those directly.
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