Resurfacing streets made easier with GIS

Within the sector of local government there are many important
services that a co
mmunity 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 Village of Morton
Grove 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 village decided that to maximize the use of their time and money
they would create a street resurfacing inventory with the help of an
application called MicroPaverTM as well as the resources of the
Geographic Information System (GIS). Collectively, both applications
had something that the other program did not necessarily excel at.
MicroPaverTM was very proficient at managing a street inventory and
assigning all streets with an accurate condition rating based on
multiple street condition attributes. On the other hand, the GIS was
very good at producing a final product in the form of a map and making
the results from the MicroPaverTM more understandable to the common
viewer.

Although the village engineers were more concerned with the numbers
and statistics reported from the MicroPaverTM software, they knew that
the data had to be readable to the village board staff that were not
engineers themselves. By having access to the capabilities that the
MicroPaverTM technology provided it was quite simple to use an export
tool that would transfer the street data into a GIS useable file. Once
in the GIS, the streets were categorized based on their pavement
condition rating and given a color scheme to delineate which streets had
a status of pass and which had a status of failure. Applying the
proper color scheme to the final map product was crucial since the map
would eventually be displayed at the village’s budget meeting and act as
a mechanism for understanding the overall condition of the current
street infrastructure. In addition, the more streets that were displayed
with a failing status might lead the board to believe that more of the
budget dollars should be allocated to the street resurfacing program.

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 in conjunction with the MicroPaverTM software
allowed the Engineering Department of Morton Grove to answer some
serious questions in regards to an important community service, street
resurfacing