Increasing efficiency of street resurfacing

Blog_Increasing_efficiency_of_street_resurfacing.jpg

Within the sector of local government there are many important
services that a community provides for their residents. Among the long
list, one service that often gets a lot of discussion is the condition
of the streets, or better yet, the street resurfacing program. Whether
residents file a complaint about the vast number of potholes on a street
or someone passing through town inquires about a refund for a road
induced flat tire, the general condition of a street attracts a fair
amount of attention. With these ideas in mind the City of Park Ridge
decided to take a different approach at surveying the condition of their
streets in an effort to better understand the current state of their
road infrastructure.

The city decided that to maximize the use of their time and money
they would create a street resurfacing inventory with the help of the
Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS would allow the city to
analyze the conditions of all streets from one central location as well
as provide them with the ability to query for what streets rated poorly
in what particular year. In turn, this would help the Engineering
Department by keeping some of the work in-house and also allow for an
archive of the street conditions per a given year at the click of a
mouse.

Back in 2007 the Engineering Department decided to migrate their
paper documents for this program into a GIS database. The database was
very simple as it only included the name of the street, the “To” and
“From” street names for a specific street segment and the rating each
segment was given. Each year since it’s inception the database is given a
new field for archiving purposes. This field will retain the same
street ratings as the previous year until the Engineering Technician is
able to update them via field checks. Not only does this archiving
method allow for the analysis of street degradation over the years it
also helps the Engineering Department answer simple questions from the
residents like “When was my street was last paved?” or “Why wasn’t my
street paved this year?”

What used to take hours of research by way of reviewing paper
documents now only takes a few seconds with a simple check in the
database. The Engineering Department does understand that the archived
data only goes back a few years but are confident that having their data
in a centralized database will pay off big moving forward into the
future. Furthermore, although the legwork for migrating the paper
documents into a GIS database was a bit long, the benefit for having
this data in a digital format has made the investment in GIS worthwhile.

In conclusion, community projects that require definitive answers
usually require a systematic approach. In the example listed above it
easy to see that using GIS allowed the Engineering Department of Park
Ridge to answer some serious questions in regards to an important
community service, street resurfacing.

Increasing efficiency of street resurfacing

Blog_Increasing_efficiency_of_street_resurfacing.jpg

Within the sector of local government there are many important
services that a community provides for their residents. Among the long
list, one service that often gets a lot of discussion is the condition
of the streets, or better yet, the street resurfacing program. Whether
residents file a complaint about the vast number of potholes on a street
or someone passing through town inquires about a refund for a road
induced flat tire, the general condition of a street attracts a fair
amount of attention. With these ideas in mind the City of Park Ridge
decided to take a different approach at surveying the condition of their
streets in an effort to better understand the current state of their
road infrastructure.

The city decided that to maximize the use of their time and money
they would create a street resurfacing inventory with the help of the
Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS would allow the city to
analyze the conditions of all streets from one central location as well
as provide them with the ability to query for what streets rated poorly
in what particular year. In turn, this would help the Engineering
Department by keeping some of the work in-house and also allow for an
archive of the street conditions per a given year at the click of a
mouse.

Back in 2007 the Engineering Department decided to migrate their
paper documents for this program into a GIS database. The database was
very simple as it only included the name of the street, the “To” and
“From” street names for a specific street segment and the rating each
segment was given. Each year since it’s inception the database is given a
new field for archiving purposes. This field will retain the same
street ratings as the previous year until the Engineering Technician is
able to update them via field checks. Not only does this archiving
method allow for the analysis of street degradation over the years it
also helps the Engineering Department answer simple questions from the
residents like “When was my street was last paved?” or “Why wasn’t my
street paved this year?”

What used to take hours of research by way of reviewing paper
documents now only takes a few seconds with a simple check in the
database. The Engineering Department does understand that the archived
data only goes back a few years but are confident that having their data
in a centralized database will pay off big moving forward into the
future. Furthermore, although the legwork for migrating the paper
documents into a GIS database was a bit long, the benefit for having
this data in a digital format has made the investment in GIS worthwhile.

In conclusion, community projects that require definitive answers
usually require a systematic approach. In the example listed above it
easy to see that using GIS allowed the Engineering Department of Park
Ridge to answer some serious questions in regards to an important
community service, street resurfacing.